Many people in the Tampa area will decide to create a revocable living trust in oder to protect their property for themselves and their heirs. While they do involve some upfront costs, revocable living trusts have a lot of important benefits.
One selling point is that revocable living trusts can help keep a Floridian’s estate out of probate. Speaking generally, probate is the process of transferring a deceased person’s property. The courts oversee the process to some extent.
If a Tampa resident decides to create a revocable trust, Step One is to make sure that a revocable living trust is indeed a good option under their unique set of circumstances. If so, the person must make sure the trust is drafted correctly. Often, people will rely on an experienced estate planning attorney to prepare the necessary documents.
Once a person has a trust set up, they must not forget Step Two. They must remember to fund their trust by making the trust the legal owner or beneficiary of their property.
If a person skips this critical step or goes about it haphazardly, the revocable trust may not meet its intended goal. In the worst case, the trust and the failure to fund it correctly can create a worse legal mess than had there been no trust or will in the first place.
Funding a revocable trust is not always an easy process
Putting one’s property into the name of their new revocable living trust is not always an easy process. Doing so is rarely just a matter of declaring that the property belongs to the trust.
Depending on the type of property, a person will have to take the right legal steps to transfer their assets into their revocable living trust.
To give just one example, a Floridian will need to transfer any real estate to a trust via a deed to the property.
Transferring real estate that a person uses as their residence, or homestead, can be tricky. Not drafting the deed correctly could mean the loss of important tax and other benefits.
People should fund their trusts with all their significant assets, or at least those they want in the trust, at an early opportunity. They also may consider drafting a pour-over will to make sure that any property they happen to overlook will go to the trust.