Who can create a living trust

Who can create a living trust

Can anyone in the US create a living trust? Is this technique only available for US citizens and US permanent residents?


Anyone can create a living trust (also called loving trust, revocable living trust, inter-vivos revocable trust, etc.). There is no requirement for citizenship. If a nonresident (lives permanently outside the US) alien (noncitizen) created a revocable trust, they would have to have a connection (nexus) to the US to avail themselves of US law if they wanted to create a living trust under US law. So for example, if the nonresident alien named a bank in Delaware or Alaska as a co-trustee of the living trust, and made a deposit in that institution, they might have created sufficient nexus to do so. However, before a nonresident alien creates a living trust, especially if it is to be funded with US assets, they should consider creating an irrevocable trust in a state like Delaware, Alaska, etc. that permits perpetual trusts, won't tax trust earnings, etc. This may provide a mechanism to avoid US estate and gift tax, state income tax, etc. Also, when a nonresident alien is undertaking any planning like this they should carefully review any treaties between the country in which they are a citizen and the US as this might affect planning. The US, for example, even has gift and estate tax treaties with a number of countries. You'll need not only a US attorney that understand trusts, but international tax expertise, and possibly other experts, to do this type of planning correctly.

Our Consumer Webcasts and Blogs

Subscribe to our email list to receive information on consumer webcasts and blogs, for practical legal information in simple English, delivered to your inbox. For more professional driven information, please visit Shenkman Law to subscribe.

Ad Space