Trusts are common financial documents that give someone the ability to manage or move money. Individuals, companies, and other organizations can be beneficiaries of trusts and they’re used for several purposes. Typically, trusts are formed when someone in a family passes away to assist with estate planning. While trusts are written documents it’s possible to access information about trusts online when you know where to look.
Whether you’re a family member or just curious about the trust that a company holds, there are some tools to help you learn more. We’ll take you through what you need to know about trusts and how to find them.
What Are Trust Documents
Trust documents are documents that are used to permit people to manage the funds of someone’s account. A trust document may be created for a beneficiary to manage the funds of someone who’s either alive or someone who passed away. In other words, they’re similar to wills but trusts have more use cases. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be complicated, and trusts are fairly simple documents.
What Are Trusts Used For?
Trusts have several use cases that vary based on the purpose of the trust. People create trusts to help with an estate or to pay for medical expenses. Ultimately, the options are fairly limitless. Some examples of the basic types of trust include:
- Martial Trust: Created to help a spouse receive benefits after another spouse passes.
- Bypass Trust: Bypasses the estate of the surviving spouse to make use of federal exemptions for estate taxes.
- Testamentary Trust: Found within wills. Outlined within the will and takes effect after death.
- Irrevocable life insurance trust: Made to exclude the proceeds of a life insurance policy and provides liquidity to the estate.
- Charitable lead trust: Allocates funds to both charity and beneficiaries.
- Charitable retainer trust: Beneficiaries take payment for some time, but the remaining funds go to charity.
- Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) trust: Provides income for a spouse but once the spouse dies the remaining money goes to another beneficiary.
- Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT): A type of irrevocable trust that’s funded by gifts from the creator of the trust.
Trusts can also be used for medical expenses and many other things, so these are just a few examples.
Revocable vs Irrevocable Trust
Revocable trusts are trusts that give the grantor power over the funds while they’re alive. With revocable trusts, the grantor of the trust can be named as a trustee and manage the fund during life. The key difference is that irrevocable trusts don’t work this way. Instead, irrevocable trusts remove the grantor from the account entirely. Even if they’re alive they can’t make changes to the trust. What makes grantors choose irrevocable trusts is that it typically has more tax benefits.
Are Trust Documents Public Record?
No, trust documents aren’t public records. Trust documents only become public records in some situations. For example, if you own a new interest in real estate law firms will record the deeds showing trust ownership for you. Additionally, when court cases are opened to determine the outcome of a trust the proceeding becomes public record. Trusts also become public when someone passes away – laws vary by state.
How to Find Trust Documents
Trust documents aren’t hard to find if they’re available. First and foremost, it’s important to know if the documents are public records. We’ll show you how to find records about trusts with a public records search tool.
Finding a Trust with Information.com
Finding trusts isn’t hard with Information.com. They have a public records search function that helps you view public records about someone. All you need to use the tool is someone’s information; first name, last name, address, phone number, and email address all help. Once you have the information you need you can enter it into the search bar, navigate through the results, and open their full report.
Within the full report you’ll find the following information:
- Criminal records
- Court records
- Marriage records
- Divorce records
- Sex offender status
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Phone numbers
- Email address
- Financial statements (if available)
When someone has a trust that’s public record, it will show up on Information.com’s full report. Therefore, it’s the fastest and most efficient way to find a trust.
Check with Your State Laws
State laws also dictate how you can find a trust. Some states may let close family members access information about trusts, especially after the grantor passes away. We recommend checking your laws to see if this applies to you. Usually, it’s only close family members who have access to trust information in these cases.
Find Trust Documents Today
Trusts are important documents for organizing and allocating funds before and after someone dies. Finding information about a trust can be the difference between an inheritance or losing money to someone else/the state. If you’re unsure about a trust and want to learn more, always check Information.com for more information about someone.