What is a 'Naked Trust'

A naked trust is a straightforward type of trust. The trustor transfers assets in the form of money or property into this trust as a method of passing them on to beneficiaries. This estate-planning tool is commonly used by parents or grandparents to transfer assets to children or grandchildren. Anyone thinking of establishing this type of trust must consider the potential implication this account could have for college financial aid eligibility for the children named as beneficiaries.


A naked trust is also known by several other names, including a bare trust, dry trust or passive trust. Whatever specific name is used, this type of trust always follows a fundamental process and structure. The initial owner of the assets, who would be the trustor, loses all control over the assets once they are placed in the trust. The trustee has only nominal control of the assets in the trust. The trustee’s only responsibility with a naked trust is to ensure the transfer of the assets to the beneficiary at the designated time. After that task is completed, the trustee’s obligations are essentially done. Once the trust's beneficiary turns 18, they have absolute entitlement to the assets involved in the trust, along with any interest that may have been generated from the account and its assets.

Naked Trusts and Other Types of Trusts

There are quite a few different types of trusts. Many of these can be set up to be either revocable or irrevocable, depending on the wishes of the trustor. Some of the most common kinds of trusts include charitable trusts, special needs trusts, and constructive trusts. Then there is a spendthrift trust, which is set up for a person who wants to avoid overspending or going against their budget.

A blind trust, on the other hand, is a specific type of naked trust in which the trustors have no participation in, or control over, the assets and operation of the trust, and the beneficiaries often may not even have knowledge of the trust or the assets controlled by it. Blind trusts are frequently established when a wealthy person is elected to a prominent political office and must distance themselves from the management of their companies or business affairs to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

With a naked trust, the trustee has a very basic role and minimal responsibilities. With other types of trusts, however, the trustee is often expected to invest the assets as the beneficiary’s representative.

  1. Trust Property

    Trust property includes assets such as securities, cash and property ...
  2. Personal Trust

    A personal trust is one that a person creates for him or herself ...
  3. Authorized Investment

    Authorized investments are those that are permitted within a ...
  4. Testamentary Trust

    A testamentary trust is a legal and fiduciary relationship created ...
  5. Prudent Investor Rule

    The prudent investment rule requires a fiduciary to invest trust ...
  6. Declaration Of Trust

    A declaration of trust defines a trust's beneficiaries, the trustee ...
Related Articles
  1. Retirement

    How To Set Up A Trust Fund In Australia

    No, they're not just for the super-rich. But you need to know the rules.
  2. Financial Advisor

    Should You Put Your Faith In A Trust?

    Many institutions want a piece of your portfolio, but trusts can provide a one-stop shop.
  3. Financial Advisor

    Irrevocable Trusts: New Trends You Need to Know

    Several improvements and additional provisions have been added to irrevocable trusts in recent years making them considerably more versatile than before.
  4. Retirement

    How to set up a trust fund if you're not rich

    You don't need to be wealthy to create your own trust fund. Here's why and how to go about it.
  5. Managing Wealth

    Surprising Uses for Trust Funds

    Here are five common situations where a trust fund makes financial sense.
  6. Investing

    Unit Investment Trusts Market: 3 Trends in 2016

    Learn more about unit investment trusts (UITs), and discover some of the most common trends in the UIT market to date in the year 2016.
  7. Financial Advisor

    How Trust Funds Can Safeguard Your Children

    Certain types of trust funds can help to protect your assets from bankruptcies and civil actions, and can be established to safeguard your children and designated beneficiaries.
  8. Managing Wealth

    Pick the Perfect Trust

    Trusts are an estate plan's anchor, but the terminology can be confusing. We cut through the clutter.
  9. Financial Advisor

    Advisors: Tips for When to Employ Living Trusts

    Revocable living trusts accomplish estate planning objectives that aren't possible with a will. Here are some of the cases that show when to use a trust.
Trading Center