St. Petersburg Trusts Attorney
When you think of estate planning, you may immediately think of a last will and testament. While a will is perhaps the most well-recognized estate planning document, there are many other tools that can be used as part of a comprehensive estate plan that fully protects your property and your surviving family members. One estate planning tool that is often extremely beneficial is a revocable living trust, also referred to as an “inter vivos” trust.
A revocable living trust is created while you are alive and you can transfer your property and assets into the ownership of the trust. Any property that is owned by the trust will not have to go through probate, which can help to reduce administrative costs, creditor claims and the delays and stress of probate. While you are alive, you can still manage all of your assets and property as the trustee. You will also designate a particular individual to serve as trustee after you pass away, along with specific instructions for them to follow.
Trusts can be an essential part of many estate plans and if you would like to discuss whether creating a trust is right for you, please call our St. Petersburg trust attorneys at Kira Doyle Law today.
The Benefits of Trusts
As mentioned above, trusts can be beneficial for many reasons, including avoiding probate. In addition, trusts can help achieve the following:
- Reducing estate taxes;
- Keeping the nature of your distributed property and assets confidential;
- Placing restrictions or condition on distributions, such as the age of beneficiaries;
- Controlling how much is distributed to beneficiaries over time;
- Having someone manage the assets in your trust for an extended period of time with no deadline for final distributions; and
- Protecting yourself from estate planning for children proceedings (aka “living probate”) if you become incapacitated.
For example, if you pass away and your children are still relatively young, a trust allows you to carefully control how much money they receive at one time, so it can reduce the risk of them irresponsibly wasting all of their inheritance. Once they are older, they may receive the remainder of their inheritance when they are better equipped to invest the money wisely.
Careful Trust Planning is Important
There are many different types of trusts available, each with its own requirements, benefits, and drawbacks. You should carefully review which type of trust is the best for your specific circumstances. In addition, you should work closely with an attorney to select the right trusted individual to serve as successor trustee and to draft very clear instructions for the successor trustee to follow. Our trust lawyers will listen to your goals for the disposition of your property after your death and will help you execute a trust to best achieve those goals.
If a person who dies had a properly executed and funded revocable trust, probate is generally not required. A trust, unlike a will, is a private document and thus is not required to be filed with the probate court. However, a Notice of Trust is required to be filed with the court to notify the court that the deceased person had a trust and to provide the name of the successor trustee. The successor trustee is still required to take steps to administer the trust in accordance with Florida law. This includes contacting the beneficiaries named in the trust document and keeping them informed throughout the trust administration; gathering, collecting and investing the trust’s assets; paying any debts or administration related expenses; filing and paying any taxes; and distributing the trust assets and/or income to the beneficiaries in accordance with the provisions of the trust.
Discuss Your Options With an Experienced St. Petersburg Trust Attorney Today
At Kira Doyle Law in St. Petersburg, we have helped many clients plan for the future to protect their property and their family members. A skilled St. Petersburg Trusts Attorney can evaluate your situation and recommend whether a trust should be part of your estate plan. Please call us today for more information at 727-537-6818.