Estate planning is complicated. Everyone has unique objectives and interests they want to protect – there is no one-size-fits-all approach. This being said, one of the most versatile estate planning tools is the living trust.
The living trust isn’t for everyone, but it offers unique advantages from both the trustee’s and the beneficiary’s perspective, including:
For many, one of the biggest advantages of the living trust is that its not subject to probate. When an estate enters probate court, a certain percentage of the estate goes to the state – this is known as a probate fee. Because living trusts avoid probate entirely, they are not subject to this fee. This may save you money in the long run, especially if you have a large estate.
Probate court proceedings are all open to the public. Therefore, if you prioritize privacy, a living trust is a good way to keep all your skeletons locked in the closet.
The assets in a living trust can be distributed at any time to whomever the trustee dictates. This may come in handy, say, if you have an adult child that, for whatever reason, isn’t responsible with money. In the event of your death, you can have a successor trustee provide the child with trust money as needed, rather than bestowing your entire estate to them all at once.
Is a living trust right for you?
Living trusts are incredibly complicated legal mechanisms that should only be set up with the help of an experienced trusts and estates lawyer.
A lawyer can structure the trust around your unique objectives, protecting your interests and saving you money. Furthermore, they can foresee legal problems that a lay person may not contemplate.
Florida residents should not hesitate to reach out. If cost is a concern, many lawyers offer a free initial consultation at no out-of-pocket-cost to the client.