Is it neccessary to have a trust when a will is in place?

Asked almost 2 years ago - South Florida, FL

My father has a brokerage account in which it is TOD to me. He also has 2 residential properties which have been retitled in my name. He does not see any reason to invest $$$ for a trust. He has even been advised by his attorney to not spend the money because the brokerage account will go directly to me upon his death as well as the property. I'm in Florida and he lives in Georgia. Would the trust protect the assets or avoid taxes?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Joshua Eli Adams

    Contributor Level 14

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Usually, a trust would avoid the need to probate the estate. It sounds like your father has already done that by titling everything in your name. As you have described it, upon your father's passing, there will be nothing to be done other than possibly a summary administration if there is any miscellaneous property that needs to be devised.

    There may be a benefit with taxes and for protecting the assets. You may want to consult a tax attorney, which I am not. It's not clear what you may want to protect the assets from, but you may want to speak to an estate planning attorney about that.

  2. Carol Anne Johnson

    Contributor Level 18

    8

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Whether or not a trust is needed depends a lot on the value of the remaining assets to the estate. If your father's attorney has advised him not to bother, then he probably is more aware of the nature of the estate and assets than any of us on this forum could be. Assuming your father is happy with his attorney's advice, he should listen to it.

    Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. : (727) 647-6645 : carol@caroljohnsonlaw.com : Wills, Trusts, Real Property, Probate,... more
  3. Gregory Herman-Giddens

    Contributor Level 14

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . A trust can help protect against unforeseen issues, such as you dying before you father, which would cause the brokerage account to go through probate. A trust could also be structured to avoid estate taxes at your death as well, and probate the assets from your creditors. Trusts are much more flexible and protective than TOD and other methods of transferring property.

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