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LEGAL TERMS

BYPASS TRUST

A trust designed to lessen a family's overall estate tax liability. An AB trust is the most popular kind of bypass trust.

ESTATE TAXES

Taxes imposed by the state or federal government on property as it passes from the dead to the living. All property you own, whatever the form of ownership, and... (more...)
Taxes imposed by the state or federal government on property as it passes from the dead to the living. All property you own, whatever the form of ownership, and whether or not it goes through probate after your death, is subject to federal estate tax. Currently, however, federal estate tax is due only if your property is worth at least $2 million when you die. The estate tax is scheduled to be repealed for one year, in 2010, but Congress will probably make the repeal (or a very high exempt amount) permanent. Any property left to a surviving spouse (if he or she is a U.S. citizen) or a tax-exempt charity is exempt from federal estate taxes. Many states now also impose their own estate taxes or inheritance taxes.

LIFE BENEFICIARY

A person who receives benefits, under a trust or by will, for his or her lifetime. For an example, see AB trust.

TRUST DEED

The most common method of financing real estate purchases in California (most other states use mortgages). The trust deed transfers the title to the property to... (more...)
The most common method of financing real estate purchases in California (most other states use mortgages). The trust deed transfers the title to the property to a trustee -- often a title company -- who holds it as security for a loan. When the loan is paid off, the title is transferred to the borrower. The trustee will not become involved in the arrangement unless the borrower defaults on the loan. At that point, the trustee can sell the property and pay the lender from the proceeds.

DEED OF TRUST

See trust deed.

BANKRUPTCY ESTATE

All of the property you own when you file for bankruptcy, except for most pensions and educational trusts. The trustee technically takes control of your bankrup... (more...)
All of the property you own when you file for bankruptcy, except for most pensions and educational trusts. The trustee technically takes control of your bankruptcy estate for the duration of your case.

SPENDTHRIFT TRUST

A trust created for a beneficiary the grantor considers irresponsible about money. The trustee keeps control of the trust income, doling out money to the benefi... (more...)
A trust created for a beneficiary the grantor considers irresponsible about money. The trustee keeps control of the trust income, doling out money to the beneficiary as needed, and sometimes paying third parties (creditors, for example) on the beneficiary's behalf, bypassing the beneficiary completely. Spendthrift trusts typically contain a provision prohibiting creditors from seizing the trust fund to satisfy the beneficiary's debts. These trusts are legal in most states, even though creditors hate them.

GRANTOR

Someone who creates a trust. Also called a trustor or settlor.

INTER VIVOS TRUST

The Latin name, favored by some lawyers, for a living trust. 'Inter vivos' is Latin for 'between the living.'

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

MARRIAGE OF BROWN

... Husband appeals from a dissolution judgment awarding wife spousal support from husband's interests in two family trusts created by husband's father and grandmother. ... In this appeal, the dispute concerns the disposition of two family trusts of which husband is a beneficiary. ...

Connall v. Felton

... ORS 93.020(1). Plaintiff does not contend that the decedent created an express trust when she deeded the property to defendant. Implied trusts fall into two categories: constructive trusts and resulting trusts. Shipe et al, 206 Or. at 562, 292 P.2d 123. ...

TRUSTS OF VIEANNA ELEANOR ANDERSON TRUST DATED MAY 20, 1987 v. Anderson

275 P.3d 1017 (2012). 248 Or. App. 755. TRUSTS OF VIEANNA ELEANOR ANDERSON TRUST DATED MAY 20, 1987 v. ANDERSON. A146802. Court of Appeals of Oregon. March 7, 2012. Affirmed without opinion.