Of all the documents that make up an estate plan, a Florida Living Trust may prove to be the most ideal for your interests. This are The Beginner’s Guide to a Florida Living Trust
What is a Florida Living Trust?
To determine if this option is best for you, it helps to know what a trust is and how it works. In simple terms, a trust is an agreement whereby you arrange for certain assets to be administered and distributed by a third party known as a trustee. This individual or entity is legally obligated by the terms of the trust to handle your assets in accordance with the guidelines and instructions outlined in the trust.
What Makes it a "Living" Trust?
At first glance, a Florida Living Trust sounds a lot like a Last Will and Testament, in that you state which assets you wish to distribute and to whom, and name someone to carry out these wishes on your behalf.
However, whereas a Will comes into effect only after you die, a Living Trust, by definition, gives you full control over the assets and arrangements therein for as long as you live. You can amend the terms, add or remove assets, select a new trustee, or even terminate the trust altogether. Only when you pass away does the trust become irrevocable, meaning it can no longer be altered and will henceforth come into effect intended.
The Many Advantages of a Florida Living Trust
If you are wondering whether or not a trust is right for you, consider some of the following benefits and how they may suit your goals and circumstances.
Unlike a Will, a Florida Living Trust is not filed with the court nor recorded in any public records - it remains as private as you want it to be.
A Florida Living Trust allows you to set up protocols for a successor to take your place in managing the trust if you become incapacitated by accident or medical problem. You can define incapacity for the purposes of the Trust and state the specific obligations and parameters of the successor.
Properties held in the Living Trust are titled to the name of the trust rather than to you as an individual, meaning they circumvent probate altogether. This means your beneficiaries receive your assets without the time and expense of dealing with a probate court. Even properties located in other states can avoid their respective probate systems if transferred to a Florida Living Trust.
With a Irrevocable Florida Living Trust, you create a trust that will take effect during your lifetime yet cannot be altered or revoked once executed. Many types of trusts come under this category, mostly for the purpose of reducing taxes, transferring wealth more efficiently, and protecting assets and beneficiaries. For example, you can have a provision that limits how much money is released at a time or restricts the funds to be used only for educational purposes.
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