Florida Trusts | Estate Planning | The Law Office of Jordan W. Jacob

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Florida Living Trusts.

Armor for Your Assets and Your Legacy.

One of the most effective ways to protect and control your assets and legacy is through the use of a Florida Living Trust. A Florida Trust is a legal document that a person creates during their lifetime for their own benefit, and for the benefit of their spouse, children and other designated persons/entities after the creator’s death.

A Trust is an agreement between three parties. The party creating the living trust is called the “grantor”; the party controlling and administering the trust is called the “trustee”; and the party benefitting from the trust assets and income is called the “beneficiary.”

Stick holds up armor - Florida Trusts
Stick holds up armor - Florida Trusts

One of the most effective ways to protect and control your assets and legacy is through the use of a Florida Living Trust. A Florida Trust is a legal document that a person creates during their lifetime for their own benefit, and for the benefit of their spouse, children and other designated persons/entities after the creator’s death.

A Trust is an agreement between three parties. The party creating the living trust is called the “grantor”; the party controlling and administering the trust is called the “trustee”; and the party benefitting from the trust assets and income is called the “beneficiary.”

Types of Living Trusts

There are two main types of Florida Living Trusts – Revocable and Irrevocable – both of which generally avoid having to go through the Florida probate process and remain private.

Revocable Trust

In a revocable living trust, the same person typically serves as the grantor, trustee and beneficiary. In addition, with a revocable living trust, the grantor, while alive, can modify amend, or terminate the trust. After a revocable living trust is created, the most important first step is to “fund the trust”, which means that the grantor’s assets are transferred out of the name of the grantor, personally, and into the name of the trust.

Irrevocable Trust

Unlike a revocable trust, an irrevocable living trust is not controlled by the grantor, and cannot easily be modified, amended or terminated. After transferring assets into the irrevocable trust, the grantor cannot change the written terms after it has been executed. As such, the grantor loses all rights of ownership over those assets.

You may ask, “Why would anyone want to give up control of their assets through an irrevocable trust?” Some of the benefits of a Florida irrevocable living trust include minimizing federal estate taxes, becoming eligible for government assistance programs, and creditor and judgment protection.

If none of these apply, then an irrevocable living trust is not the best estate planning option for you.

Benefits of Florida Trusts

One benefit of Florida Trusts is that they remain private and out of the Florida court’s probate process. Another attractive benefit of Florida Trusts is that they allow the grantor to provide specific instructions for the management of the trust’s assets in the event the grantor becomes incapacitated, and to specifically designate who will be trusted to administrate the trust during the grantor’s incapacity.

During the life of the trust, income earned by the trust assets is distributed to the grantor, and then to the beneficiaries after the grantor’s death. Furthermore, depending on the grantor’s wishes and the desired complexity of the estate plan, Florida Trusts can provide a tax shelter for the grantor, as well as creditor, judgment, and marital protection to surviving spouses and minor beneficiaries.

Stick stand next to an estate planning safe

There are other benefits and drawbacks to Florida Trusts, and you should always consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to find out what is the best option for you, your family, and loved ones.

If you have any questions about creating Florida Living Trusts, or about any other estate planning tools, please contact me today!

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From Jordan W. Jacob, Esq. to Everyone: 03:05 AM