A trust is a legal agreement between three parties; you have the grantor, that's the person that creates the trust and creates the rules around the trust. You have the beneficiary, that's the person on whose behalf the trust is created. And you have the trustee, that's the person that administers the stuff in the trust and follows the rules laid down by the grantor.
Now, a typical trust that most people think of is a revocable living trust. What that is, is a trust that you've created during your lifetime but it's revocable. It means you can blow it up at any time; you can change any parts of the trust that you want to.
Typically trusts are done for three reasons; you want to avoid probate, you want to avoid guardianship or you are very concerned about privacy. The Texas probate process isn't normally very difficult but a trust is a lot smoother and there's a lot of really neat things that we can build into a trust.
The guardianship, at least the trust helps avoid guardianship of the estate because what happens is all of your assets are in the trust instead of you owning them individually and then if you become incapacitated and are unable to manage your own affairs. Then whoever you have listed as a successor trustee, the one that's right after you, steps forward and they start managing the assets for you.
And then there's also the privacy reasons. Probate is a public process, anybody who wants to can go down and get a copy of the will or if you have to file an inventory, a copy of that, and what a trust really does is helps make sure that your personal things remain personal.