Benefits of trusts

When you create a trust, you make a legal arrangement that gives your trustee the power to hold the trust assets for the benefit or your beneficiaries.

The trustee you choose will protect your assets, care for them according to your instructions, and serve the interests of the beneficiary or beneficiaries you name.

Controlling assets

A trust makes it easier to keep your assets within the family.

Protecting assets

Your assets can be protected against certain claims, such as your beneficiaries’ debtors.

Reducing your taxable estate

You can also create lifetime trusts that exclude assets when you die. These assets can then go to your children free of estate tax.

Revocable vs. irrevocable trusts

Among the many types of trusts available, an important distinction is whether they’re revocable or irrevocable.


Also known as a living trust, it can help your assets avoid probate while allowing you to keep control of them during your lifetime. It can be changed or dissolved at any time.


An irrevocable trust removes assets from your estate, thereby reducing the amount subject to probate and estate taxes. It cannot be changed or dissolved.

Any comments or references to taxes herein are informational only. Truist and its representatives do not provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your individual tax or legal professional before taking any action that may have tax or legal consequences.

Types of trusts

Of the more than a dozen trusts available, here are six of the most common. Your Truist Wealth advisor, along with your trust attorney, can provide more information to help you decide which is best for you.

You can maintain control of the trust during your lifetime. Advantages include lower cost and a streamlined estate settlement process.

Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust

You can provide your surviving spouse or partner with a life income and choose who will receive the remaining assets after their death.

Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)

A GRAT is an irrevocable trust that holds assets such as cash, securities, and real estate. You retain the right to collect an annuity (for a fixed period of years) from the assets.

Credit Shelter Trust

This option may help you and your spouse or partner take advantage of estate tax exemptions, thereby maximizing assets passed on to your children.

Charitable Remainder Trust

You can transfer property to a trust set up for the charity of your choice. The trust pays you an income for life or for a fixed period of time.

Charitable Lead Trust

This trust pays income to a charity for a set amount of time, after which the assets pass to your named beneficiary.

Additional resources

Get current, in-depth information on trust and estate planning.

Estate planning

How to prepare for the tricky business of transferring wealth

Investing and retirement

Wills: The executive compensation balancing act

Risk management

Life insurance: Is now the time?