A trust creates a structure for the management of property. A fiduciary relationship is created wherein a person, the trustee, holds real or personal property for the benefit of another. Long ago in England, the holder of the property was often a different person than the individual whose property was being managed.
In modern times, trusts have become more widely used for the active management of one's own property during their lifetime with provisions for distribution of their assets upon death. Trusts can be thought of as a container into which a single person or married couple transfers their belongings, both real and personal, for management.
The creators of a trust will have several titles, and will wear several "hats." Initially, as creators of the trust they will be considered the "settlors." Additionally, they will be the first "trustees" who hold property for their own benefit.
A trust may be slightly more complicated to create than a will. Brief documents will be necessary to transfer property to the trust and real property titles will be changed to indicate trust management. However, the initial modest difficulty is offset by the ease of administration after death.
Trusts do not require probate, a formal court supervised administration, which is imposed upon estates being administered under a will or in circumstances where the decedent dies without any testamentary plan. Trust administration is more private, informal, and typically less costly.