The Philosophy of Trust

Trusts can be a useful tool for people who are concerned that their loved ones may not make wise choices with their money or that their estate will be subject to undue taxes. A trust can also help a person avoid probate, the process of settling an estate. Moreover, it can be used to keep assets private and confidential, which is important for those who want to protect their privacy.

Trusts are essentially legal documents that contain instructions for how a trustee will manage and distribute property to beneficiaries after the trustor’s death. They can hold almost anything from cash and investments to real estate, artwork, and even business interests. The trustee that manages the trust must act in good faith and must follow the terms of the document to prevent conflicts of interest. The trustee must also be able to make decisions based on the facts and must take into account any special circumstances that might arise.

Philosophers who agree that trust can be rational in a truth- or end-directed way tend to disagree about whether these reasons must be accessible to the person who is being trusted (i.e., they must be internally justified). Others maintain that the reasons are usually too subtle to be open to this kind of conscious consideration; they might involve, for instance, subtle body language or systematic yet veiled forms of oppression that are difficult to detect. Thus, these factors can influence a person’s trusting behavior without her being aware of them, sometimes making it irrational and other times making it rational.

Another issue that philosophers have debated about is whether the value of trust is intrinsic or instrumental. Some argue that trust has intrinsic value because it is a form of respect for others. However, other scholars have argued that the value of trust is not intrinsic but rather is determined by what goods it produces or accompanies. These may benefit the trustor, the trustee, or society in general.

A recent study found that people who were more active in their engagement with science are more likely to be “hot-issue publics” — the kinds of publics that polarize around particular scientific problems. The authors suggest that this difference might be related to the ways in which people understand the value of trust.

Some of the most significant differences between a trust and a will are that wills are public, while trusts are confidential. Additionally, a will requires court approval, while a trust does not. This can cause delays and additional costs for heirs. Another benefit of a trust is that it can avoid avoiding probate, which saves time and allows for more confidentiality. If you are interested in setting up a trust, an attorney can assist you with the creation of a document that meets your state’s requirements. They can also advise you on how to maximize the benefits of a trust. Lastly, they can help you plan to minimize federal and state wealth transfer taxes.