A trust may be an ideal estate planning tool for those who are eager to sidestep Florida probate laws. It may also be ideal for those who want to keep the terms of their estate secret. Typically, an individual will create a revocable living trust, but in some cases, it may be better to create an irrevocable one instead.
What is a trust?
A living trust is an estate planning document that allows you to hold assets outside of your estate without losing control of them because you can serve as both the trustee and the beneficiary. Assets are titled in the trust’s name, which is why they are not subject to probate when you pass. Unlike a will, the document takes effect as soon as it is created. Irrevocable trusts provide greater protection from creditors because you cede control of them to an independent trustee. The terms of such a trust generally cannot be changed without the consent of all beneficiaries.
How do you create a trust?
The first step in creating a trust is deciding which assets should go into it and who will benefit from it. Then, you create a trust document outlining its purpose and providing instructions for the trustee to follow. If you plan on serving as the trustee, be sure to name a successor who can manage the trust if you pass or become incapacitated.
Creating a trust may make it easier to manage your affairs before and after you pass. Typically, a living trust becomes an irrevocable trust upon your death, so it’s important to review it regularly to ensure that it reflects your true intentions.