[IMGCAP(1)]The recent IPO by Facebook founders led to their creation of grantor trusts to avoid paying taxes of at least $200 million. It underlined new uses of a technique that has been around for a long time. Grantor trusts, including defective trusts, are still the hot new thing.

The idea of trust law originated in the Middle Ages in the English legal system to protect landowners who went off to fight in the Crusades from losing their properties. The current treatment of trusts in the U.S. has been around since their recodification in 1954.

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