Tangible Personal Property:
Personal property which ordinarily has no registered ownership attached to it, e.g. furniture, clothing, jewelry, antiques, collections, etc., but not cash or other financial assets.
A form of co-ownership in which a deceased tenant’s share passes to his/her heirs or beneficiaries through his/her estate under the terms of a Will, or in accordance with the laws of intestate succession in the absence of a Will. (Contrast with Joint Tenancy.)
A Trust established in a person’s Will. A Testamentary Trust only comes into operation after the Will has been probated and the assets have been distributed in accordance with the probate court order. In many states, Testamentary Trusts remain subject to the jurisdiction of the probate court.
Testator (male)/Testatrix (female):
Person who makes a Will.
A tax levied when ownership of an asset is given, bequeathed or transferred to another. Includes the Estate Tax (federal and state), Inheritance Tax, Gift Tax and Generation Skipping Transfer Tax.
A legal arrangement in which “legal title” (registered ownership) to assets is transferred to a “Trustee”, who thereafter has a fiduciary duty to manage and distribute the Trust assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the Trust, all in accordance with the instructions contained in the Trust document (“Declaration of Trust”). The beneficiaries hold “equitable title” (right to use and enjoy) to those assets. Trusts of various types are frequently used in estate planning to achieve tax, financial, and personal objectives. It is helpful to remember that every Trust is simply a set of your instructions.
One who holds legal title to Trust assets, managing and distributing those assets in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in the Declaration of Trust. A Trustee may be an individual or a bank or trust company licensed to serve as a Trustee. A Trust may have one or more Trustees (Co-Trustees) who act together.
One who establishes a Trust. The terms “Grantor” and “Settlor” are synonyms for “Trustor”.
Trust Estate (Trust Property):
The assets transferred to the Trustee by re-registering their legal titles in the name of the Trustee. The Trust Estate can include real estate, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, brokerage accounts, partnership interests, tangible personal property, and many other types of financial and legal interests.