Living trusts, otherwise known as inter vivos trusts, are created during the lifetime of the person who created the trust, who is otherwise known as the grantor, trustor, or settlor (hereinafter, “Grantor”). A Revocable Living Trust (“RLT”) can be established for a specified period of time, upon the occurrence (or nonoccurrence) of a specified event, or until the death of the Grantor. The three essential parties to an RLT are the Grantor, Trustee, and Beneficiary.
The Trustee manages the trust assets for the benefit of the Beneficiary. The Grantor of an RLT retains the absolute right, during his lifetime, to alter the terms of the trust, amend the trust in whole or in part, and revoke the trust in its entirety. A revocable trust morphs into an irrevocable trust when the Grantor dies, or when the Grantor surrenders title to the property held in the trust during his lifetime and relinquishes the right to alter, amend, revoke, or terminate the trust.