Tentative trust (also called a Totten trust) is a bank account where the account’s assets will be transferred to a beneficiary after the death of the depositor. A depositor may choose a tentative trust because the assets can quickly be given to the beneficiary instead of going through a probate court proceeding for a will. The tentative trust also can be easily changed or terminated by the depositor if they choose to do so, unlike the process of changing a will and other trusts. A tentative trust is called a Totten trust after a 1904 case in New York which allowed the controversial trusts.
[Last updated in October of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]