What is a living trust?

A living trust is a powerful estate planning tool that allows its creators to hold their personal and real property, use that property for their own benefit during their lifetimes and then direct what happens to the property when they pass away.  If the terms of the trust can be changed while its creator(s) are living, it is a revocable trust, popularly known as a living trust. 

If the terms of the trust cannot be changed once it is signed, then it is an irrevocable trust, which is a different type of trust that can be useful for certain assets and situations.  Trusts are used to provide as easy a transition as possible for the creators’ loved ones, with the goal of avoiding probate and minimizing tax burdens.