Understanding Personal Trusts.

When you’re researching whether a trust is the right estate planning solution for you, you may run across terms and concepts that are unfamiliar. This page includes several resources you can refer to as you look into personal trusts.

We can help.

CSTC can serve in the following trustee capacities, depending on your needs:

Sole trustee

CSTC assumes all the investment, administrative, and fiduciary responsibilities of managing your trust according to the terms defined in your trust document.


CSTC acts as a co-trustee with the individual(s) you designate. As a co-trustee, CSTC assumes full investment management and administrative responsibilities for the trust but may share discretionary disbursement decision-making with the co-trustee(s) according to the trust provisions.

Successor trustee

CSTC steps in once you or the individual you name as sole trustee or co-trustee is no longer willing or able to serve.

Types of trusts we support.

  • Wealth Protection and Transfer

    • Living Trusts (Revocable Trusts)
    • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT)
    • Grantor Retained Trusts (GRUT, GRAT, GRIT)
    • Special Needs/Supplemental Trusts (SNT)
    • Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)
  • Charitable Giving

    • Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRAT, CRUT)
    • Charitable Lead Trusts (CLAT, CLUT)
    • Foundations
  • Family Transfer

    • Marital Trusts (“A” Trust)
    • Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) Trusts
    • Family Trusts (“B” Trust, Credit Shelter Trusts)
    • Generation-Skipping Trusts (GST)
    • Testamentary Trusts
    • Qualified Domestic Trust (QDOT)

Document resources.

Trustee document form

Trust FAQs.

  • What is a trust?

    A trust is a legal relationship in which one or more persons or entities (trustees) holds legal title to property and manages it for the benefit of one or more persons or entities (beneficiaries).

  • Why establish a trust?

    A trust can potentially accomplish a wide variety of objectives:

    • Provide continuity in management of trust assets in the event of your incapacity or death.
    • Help your beneficiaries avoid the expense, delay, and publicity of probate.
    • Allow you to create rules for how your assets will be preserved or distributed and to name a trustee to carry out your wishes.
    • Minimize transfer/estate taxes.
    • Allow for the implementation of charitable giving strategies.
  • How do I know what type of trust is right for me?

    There are many types of trusts available, depending on your and your family’s unique needs. Your attorney or estate planner can help you determine which type of trust is the best choice for you; your Financial Consultant can help you establish the trust with CSTC.

  • What type of services does CSTC provide?

    Administration services

    • Income and principal distributions according to the trust document
    • Preparation and filing of fiduciary federal and state tax returns
    • Accurate and timely accounting, record keeping, and reporting

    Investment services

    • Professional investment management of your trust assets
    • Portfolio adjustment to meet changing market demands
    • Education of beneficiaries on investment resources and financial planning



The individual (or individuals) who creates and funds the trust with their accumulated wealth, including financial and real estate assets.


The party responsible for the administration and/or investment management of trust assets. A trustee can be:

  • Individual trustee—usually a family member or friend chosen to manage trust assets.
  • Corporate trustee—a bank or trust company, like Charles Schwab Trust Company, that specializes in trust investment management and administration.
  • Successor trustee—named to step in and manage the trust when the current trustee is no longer able or willing to continue due to incapacity, death, or resignation.


This is the court process of distributing assets after death of the grantor. Trusts can help avoid this potentially time-consuming, costly, and public process.


A recipient of trust asset distributions, such as individual heirs or charities.

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