What Is An Inter Vivos Trust?

Are you curious to know what is an inter vivos trust? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about an inter vivos trust in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is an inter vivos trust?

Estate planning is an essential aspect of financial management, ensuring that your assets are protected and distributed according to your wishes. One valuable tool in estate planning is the inter vivos trust, a legal arrangement that serves various purposes. In this blog, we’ll delve into what an inter vivos trust is, how it works, and its significance in estate planning.

What Is An Inter Vivos Trust?

An inter vivos trust, often referred to as a living trust or revocable trust, is a legal entity created during an individual’s lifetime to manage and protect assets. “Inter vivos” is a Latin term that means “between the living.” The primary characteristic of an inter vivos trust is that it takes effect during the grantor’s lifetime, unlike a testamentary trust, which is established through a will and becomes effective after the grantor’s death.

Key Participants In An Inter Vivos Trust:

  1. Grantor: The individual who creates the trust and transfers assets into it. The grantor determines the terms and conditions of the trust.
  2. Trustee: The person or entity responsible for managing and administering the trust, including investing assets and distributing income and principal as specified by the grantor.
  3. Beneficiaries: Those who receive the benefits and distributions from the trust. Beneficiaries can include the grantor, the grantor’s family members, or other designated individuals or entities.

How An Inter Vivos Trust Works?

The creation and operation of an inter vivos trust follow a structured process:

  1. Establishment: The grantor creates the trust by drafting a trust agreement or declaration. This document outlines the terms, conditions, and instructions for the trust’s administration.
  2. Funding: The grantor transfers ownership of assets, such as real estate, bank accounts, investments, and personal property, into the trust. These assets become trust property, owned by the trust rather than the grantor personally.
  3. Trustee Appointment: The grantor appoints a trustee to manage the trust. The trustee has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries and to follow the trust’s terms.
  4. Administration: The trustee administers the trust as directed by the trust agreement. This includes managing, investing, and protecting the trust assets.
  5. Beneficiary Rights: Beneficiaries have the right to receive income and, in some cases, principal distributions from the trust as specified in the trust agreement. The grantor can be a beneficiary of the trust during their lifetime.
  6. Revocable vs. Irrevocable: Inter vivos trusts can be revocable or irrevocable. A revocable trust allows the grantor to make changes or terminate the trust during their lifetime. An irrevocable trust, once established, is more permanent and typically provides certain tax advantages.

Significance In Estate Planning

Inter vivos trusts are valuable tools in estate planning for several reasons:

  1. Avoiding Probate: Assets held in a trust do not go through the probate process, which can be time-consuming and costly. This allows for faster and more private asset distribution upon the grantor’s death.
  2. Asset Management: A trustee can efficiently manage and invest trust assets, ensuring they are preserved and distributed according to the grantor’s wishes.
  3. Incapacity Planning: A revocable trust can provide for the management of assets in case the grantor becomes incapacitated, without the need for a court-appointed guardian.
  4. Privacy: Trusts offer a level of privacy, as the terms and assets are not publicly disclosed in the same way that a will’s contents are.
  5. Control: The grantor retains control over the trust during their lifetime, allowing them to make changes or revoke it if needed.


An inter vivos trust is a versatile estate planning tool that provides a means to manage and protect assets during the grantor’s lifetime and streamline their distribution upon their passing. Whether used to avoid probate, provide for beneficiaries, or manage assets in case of incapacity, an inter vivos trust offers flexibility and control over one’s financial legacy while ensuring that assets are handled according to the grantor’s intentions. It is advisable to consult with legal and financial professionals to determine if an inter vivos trust is a suitable addition to your estate planning strategy.


What Is The Purpose Of The Inter Vivos Trust?

An Inter Vivos Trust is a fiduciary agreement that can be established during your lifetime. Also known as a Living Trust, an Inter Vivos is an important type of estate planning document that ensures the distribution of assets during and after your lifetime.

What Is The Difference Between A Trust And An Inter Vivos Trust?

A living trust (sometimes called an inter vivos trust) is one created by the grantor during his or her lifetime, while a testamentary trust is a trust created by the grantor’s will.

What Happens To An Inter Vivos Trust When The Grantor Dies?

If the Grantor – also known as the Trustor, Grantor or Settlor – acted as Trustee while they were alive, the named Successor Trustee will normally take over as Trustee of the Trust upon the Grantor’s death.

What Is The Difference Between An Inter Vivos Revocable Trust And A Revocable Trust?

While revocable inter vivos trusts provide a great deal of flexibility to the trust owner, this type of trust is not appropriate for all estate-planning needs. If a trust is titled revocable, all assets used to fund the trust are considered the trust owner’s personal assets.

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What Is An Inter Vivos Revocable Trust

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