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Why would I consider using a trust instead of a will?

On Behalf of | Aug 22, 2023 | Trusts |

People in the Tampa area may have heard that it is almost always better to create a trust instead of just drafting a will.

There is some truth to that. In many cases, a trust really is the best estate planning device for a Florida family.

To give just one common example, a trust may be right for a family if the goal is not to have to collect and re-distribute property in a probate proceeding.

Like other estate planning tools, trusts have advantages and disadvantages

However, trusts are not right for every situation. Moreover, there are different types of trusts that offer slightly different advantages and disadvantages.

Still, there are some advantages to trusts which Floridians should think about as they draw up their estate plans:

  • Trusts can help an individual keep their estate out of probate court. This can save their grieving family time, effort and legal expense. On the other hand, it costs more to set up a trust. Also, it is important to remember that aggrieved relatives or others can still litigate over a trust.
  • Some trusts offer tax advantages.
  • Trusts offer a measure of privacy to a family, and they also may allow a person to exercise some additional control over their estate after they die.
  • Trusts are good tools for protecting the estate from creditors. A properly drafted and funded trust can even protect one’s loved ones from losing their inheritance to a creditor such as an ex-spouse or hostile business partner.
  • Trusts may be the right choice for families who have complicated or difficult situations. For example, special needs trusts ensure a loved one with a mental or physical challenge can both receive an inheritance and continue to get critical government support.

Every individual who is considering estate planning should make sure they understand their unique legal options so they can pick what is best for them.