How do trusts work?
A trust is a legal mechanism, not unlike a corporation or other legal entity, that can be used to hold property for later distribution to individuals and organizations. Unlike a will, which is a set of instructions on how to distribute assets, a trust is, in a sense, a "completed gift." It names individuals or organizations as beneficiaries to receive trust assets.
Also unlike a will, a trust need not be administered or overseen by the Probate Court. It is a private document and generally results in a private distribution of assets.