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Where Do Trusts Come From?

Many people in San Diego make revocable living trusts the primary feature of their estate plan. You may wonder where the idea of a trust came from. Trusts haven’t just been popular in the last century. Trusts are quite old. Plato back in 400 B.C. used a trust to finance his university in Greece. The Romans also used trusts. In England they were popular beginning in the 11th century in order to protect property from abusive noblemen and the King. A trust was used to vest title to real property in a trustee who would then give it to the wife, son, or daughter upon the husband’s death. Without such a trust, the property would go the lord or the King leaving the family poor and with no land to earn a living.

Trusts came to this country with the colonists. One of the first trusts was that of Governor Robert Morris of the Virginia colony. The trust was drafted in 1765 by Patrick Henry. Thereafter, William Bingham, a Senator from Pennsylvania, said to be the richest American when the colonies gained their independence, created a trust for his vast fortune.

Trusts are popular today as a way of avoiding not the King, but probate. With a living trust, you can avoid the cost of probate, the time of probate, and the lack of privacy of probate. You also can save on estate taxes if you have a sizeable estate by having the appropriate type of trust. If you are thinking about creating an estate plan, consult the experienced estate planning lawyers at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation to determine if a trust is right for you. The initial consultation is always free.

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