The Living Trust

A trust refers to property held by a "trustee", which may be one or more individuals or an institution such as a bank or private trust manager. A living trust does not become effective until the grantor dies, so that during their lifetime the trust can be modified or revoked. When the grantor dies the trust takes effect and is managed by the grantor's choice of trustee(s), pursuant to the instructions left in the trust document. A living trust is a powerful tool to avoid probate, as trust assets are normally distributed independently of the probate process.

Our Role

GCS, Inc. can serve as the trustee or successor trust of any living trust. Our work will be directed by the trust document.


  • Grantor/Settlor/Trustor: the person who has created the trust
  • Corpus: the property placed into the trust
  • Testamentary Trust: a trust created by a will
  • Special Needs Trust: a trust set up for a person with disabilities for the purpose of supplementing their special needs and preserving eligibility for government benefits (Social Security/Medicaid).
  • Living Trust: a trust created by a living grantor
  • Revocable: The trust can be changed
  • Irrevocable: The trust cannot be changed
  • Fiduciary duty: a relationship between parties that obligates on to act solely in the best interest of the other(s).

A Word of Caution

If you intend to place assets within a living trust while you are alive, make sure that the transfers are made. There have been many cases where people set up detailed living trusts, but neglect to fund them, with the result that they paid for a trust they did not use and their assets passed according to the laws of intestate succession instead of as they intended.