What is a trust?

What is a trust?

  • The CREM Group
  • 05/10/20
In a recent CREM Group journal entry, we made our readers aware that the best way to avoid probate is to open a trust. It sounds easy. But some people are still a little hazy on the meaning of the word, so we thought we would review the concept. We will start by defining terms.


A trust is a written legal instrument created by a grantor (trustor) during his or her lifetime or at death for the benefit of another. Property is given to a trustee to manage for the benefit of a third person. Generally, the beneficiary gets interest and dividends on the trust assets for a set number of years. The property itself is sometimes termed the “corpus” of trust. A trust is sometimes called a revocable living trust or a revocable inter vivos trust.


The trustor is the person who transfers the assets into a trust for the benefit of another. (Also known as the grantor.)


The trustee is the person named in a trust document who will manage the property owned by the trust and distributes any income according to the document. A trustee can be an individual or a corporate fiduciary.


A beneficiary is an individual or organization to which a gift of property is made. It is a person (or organization) receiving benefits under a legal instrument such as a will, trust, or life insurance policy. Except when very small estates are involved, beneficiaries of wills only receive their benefits after the will is examined and approved by the probate court. Beneficiaries of trusts receive their benefits directly, as provided in the Trust Instrument.

The CREM Group handles all types of sales. Trust sales, conservatorship sales, and probate sales in Orange and Los Angeles Counties.

Why a Trust?

It’s actually a lot easier to sell a home from a trust than it is when the property is in probate. The process of selling a probate home is quite involved, as the many steps needed can take up to a year. It simply takes time to go through the court system. We recommend having a real estate agent like the CREM Group that specializes in conservatorship, trust, and probate sales. In fact, we wrote in this blog about some mistakes to avoid when selling a probated home.

We are often asked if you should set up your own trust. While there are forms on the internet for creating a trust, we still feel it’s best to have an attorney draw up a trust. If something in the trust is incorrect, then it’s possible your beneficiaries will not receive the assets from your estate that you intended. You will not be there to change it, either.

Bottom Line

A trust is the best way to hold the assets in your estate to make sure your heirs receive those assets with the least hassle. The CREM Group is an attorney-owned real-estate brokerage that handles probate, conservatorship, and trust real estate sales in all of Southern California with a particular interest in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. Trusts are best, but If you have a property that is going through probate, the CREM Group can help you with that, too.

As always, contact us by email here if you have any questions about real estate, probate real estate, conservatorship, or trust real estate properties, especially in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in California.

Or directly:

Mark Cianciulli, Esq. [email protected] 
DISCLAIMER: This content is meant purely for educational purposes. It contains only general information about real estate and/or legal matters. It is NOT legal advice and should not be treated as such. We recommend consulting a legal or tax professional before acting on any material, opinion, or point of view described herein. COVID-19 Safety: As all of us at the CREM Group market and sell our inventory of probate, trust, and conservatorship homes for our clients, we adhere to the COVID-19 regulations set by the California Association of Realtors.

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