Florida Revocable Living Trust Lawyers
Serving Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Broward, and Martin Counties, and the Surrounding Areas
Living Trusts (also known as Revocable Trusts or Inter-Vivos Trusts) are a popular estate planning tool in Florida. Our Florida estate planning lawyers can help you determine if a Living Trust is advantageous for your circumstances.
What are the Benefits of Having a Revocable Living Trust in Florida?
A Living Trust can spare your family the trouble and expense of dealing with the Probate Court. This is of particular importance to Florida residents, since Florida’s probate system can be cumbersome and family members often live at great distances.
Avoid Guardianship & Keep the Court Out of Your Personal Affairs
Unlike a Will, which is a death instrument only, the Living Trust also protects you while you’re alive by allowing you to appoint someone to handle your financial affairs in the event you become incapacitated. This minimizes the chances of guardianship and court involvement in your personal affairs.
Maintain Family Privacy & Discourage Challenges
The Living Trust is a private document and need not be filed with the court. That offers another advantage: privacy. Your dispositions are not public record, as they are with a Will. That also reduces the possibility of your plan being challenged by any disgruntled heirs.
More Control Over Distributions to Beneficiaries
A Living Trust gives you greater ability to control when your beneficiaries receive their inheritance, and how they use it. For example, you may want your grandchildren to receive their money only when they attain a certain age. If you have an adult child who is not responsible with money, the provisions of your Trust could specifically give him only certain amounts at specific ages, and/or for specific purposes.
Will a Revocable Living Trust Protect My Assets from Creditors?
No. When a Living Trust is created, the grantor (you, if you’re the one contributing assets) remains free to control the assets and how the assets are used. As a result, if you are sued, creditors are able to seize assets in a revocable living trust in the same manner as if the assets were never placed in a trust in the first place.
Choosing Your Successor Trustee
When you establish a Living Trust as part of your estate planning, you (the grantor, also known as the trustor) make yourself the trustee of the assets you place in the Trust. You are still free to sell, trade and give away the assets as you see fit. You may also change the terms of the Trust, or revoke it, at any time. But once you pass on, the successor trustee(s) you’ve designated take control of your assets, and distribute them in accordance with the provisions of your Trust.
Choosing a successor trustee is a serious decision. The person must be willing to serve, obviously. The successor trustee should also have sufficient financial experience, sound judgment and adequate time to handle the responsibilities that come with the job. The successor Trustee should always hire professionals – lawyers, accountants, etc. – to assist with the tasks the trustee lacks the proficiency or comfort level to do him/herself.
In certain circumstances you may find it preferable to appoint a third party rather than a relative as successor trustee. For example, you may believe that time constraints or questionable integrity will interfere with your adult child’s ability to handle the job. Also, if your adult children do not get along, choosing a third party can be preferable to choosing just one child, which may inflame sibling rivalries, or to appointing all your children as co-trustees and somehow hoping that they can work together amicably. A bank or brokerage may serve as a third-party trustee.
Also See: Frequently Asked Questions About Living Trusts
Contact The Karp Law Firm for all you Florida estate planning needs. We’re here to help!
Learn more about our Florida Estate Planning:
- Estate Planning
- Florida Living Trust FAQs
- Florida Estate Planning for Second Marriages
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Wealth Transfer and Tax Planning
- Special Needs Trusts
- Probate Avoidance
- Planning for Your Minor Child
- Leaving Your Home to Heirs
- Disinheriting An Heir
- Fiduciary Services
- Federal Estate Taxes
Our parents had their trust set up through your law firm. When they passed away it was very easy to deal with their estate. We thought it was set up well and wanted that for our child when we pass. We were pleased by the whole process. It was fast, organized and fairly priced.
5 Star Review – Mr. and Mrs. D.S.