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A trust is a mechanism that holds and protects specific property that is placed into it. A trust in Indiana is created when a person, called the “settlor, transfers property to another, called a trustee, in trust to be kept by the trustee for the benefit of the settlor’s beneficiaries. Trusts allow for the private distribution of a person’s assets or property.  

Indiana does not utilize the Uniform Probate Act, the process can be quite complicated. This article will answer some common questions regarding Trusts under Indiana Law.  

Indiana Law requires that a settlor be over the age of 18 and be of sound mind. A trust must be described in writing and state what is included in the trust, name the trustee, name the beneficiaries, what each beneficiary will receive, and how the trust will be distributed. Trusts must only be established for lawful purposes.  


How Long Can A Trust Last In Indiana?

A trust can be established and begin functioning during the settlor’s lifetime. In fact, this is the most common type of trust called a “living trust.” The settlor may set a specific date on which the trust will terminate. The settlor may also set the termination at the time of a triggering event, such as a beneficiary reaching a certain age. Further, a settlor may give the trustee the power to terminate the trust once its purpose has been fulfilled. Typically, if no expiration date is set, the trust can last up to 21 years after the settlor’s death. It is important to remember, though, that trusts are generally used so that the assets can be distributed to the beneficiaries immediately after the settlor’s death.  

To read more about different types of trusts, please visit our other article.  


How Does A Trust Work In Indiana?

While no specific document is required to set up a trust, a trust must be written clearly in its terms. Regardless of the paperwork, the settlor must sign the trust documents. Once a trust is established, a settlor’s assets are controlled, owned, and managed by the trustee, so if anything incapacitates the settlor, the settlor’s assets remain protected.  

Additionally, Indiana trusts allow a settlor to add or remove property without creating a new trust each time assets are redistributed. If a trust is revocable, the settlor can terminate it or modify it at any time.  

To learn more about revocable wills, please view our website.  

couple creating a trust with lawyer in Indiana

Who Legally Owns Trust Property In Indiana?

A trust goes into effect upon creation. Trusts serve as a mechanism that distributes assets before death, at death, and after death. The settlor creates a trust. However, upon the creation of a trust, the settlor transfers assets into the trust; thus, once transferred, the trust owns the property. A trustee is a person who is designated to manage and distribute the assets held by the trust. The settlor can choose how the trustee distributes assets to the settlor during life and then to the beneficiaries after the settlor’s death.  


Does A Trust In Indiana Have To Be Notarized?  

Indiana law does not explicitly require a trust to be notarized; however, notarizing a trust provides extra protection for the signor if the signature is ever contested. To read and review the requirements of a Trust, you can visit Indiana Code § 30-4-2-1.  

Schedule a consultation with an Indiana Estate Planning Attorney to ensure your trust follows Indiana Trust Laws. Our attorneys are readily available to review or draft your trust today!  


When Is The Best Time To Start A Trust In Indiana?

Creating a trust is an option for someone who is planning their estate. If you have assets you believe need extra protection, you should schedule a consultation with an Indiana Estate Planning Attorney. If you want to ensure that specific assets are distributed to specific family members, it may be an excellent time to consider creating a trust. Call O’Flaherty Law to discuss whether a trust may be the best option for you.  

For more information regarding estate planning, please see our other webpage.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.

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