Given the flexibility that comes with trust planning, no single vocabulary has emerged from describing the different types of trusts. The same trust with the same function can go by different names because different estate planners have created multiple monikers. Here is an introduction to some of the types of trust that you might want to explore.

Type of


Who is


Unique Benefits
Revocable living trustYourself, or yourself and your spouse Professional asset management, continuous financial protection upon incapacity
Marital deduction trustYour spouse, after your deathEstate tax deferral; spouse receives all income at least annually
Qualified Domestic Trust (DQOT)Your noncitizen spouse, after your deathMarital deduction; spouse receives all income at least annually
Family trustYour children, after your deathTrustee may be given discretion over trust assets, protecting them from creditor claims
Qualified Terminable Interest Property trust (QTIP trust)Your spouse and children from an earlier marriageFor “blended families” preserves everyone’s inheritance
Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)Yourself and your heirsLeverage federal transfer tax exemptions for larger tax savings
Special needs trustA disabled individualMay provide for enhanced quality of life while permitting continued government benefits
Charitable remained trustYourself or other individuals for some time, and a charity in the futureIncome interest may be a percentage of the trust’s value or a fixed dollar amount; income and gift tax savings possible


Learn more about the flexibility of trusts, and which option or options best fit your scenario. Talk to an American Bank & Trust wealth management specialist.


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