What is a Trust in Florida?

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what is trust in Florida?

Sometimes doing something a little more efficiently, takes a little planning, and that is where we typically stumble.  When confronted with all of the things we need to deal with in our daily lives, particularly under tough economic circumstances, we do not always have the time to do that extra planning – even though it will ultimately save time in the long run.

That is to say that a little planning can go a long way with regard to your financial affairs.  One of the best ways in which you can plan properly for the future is to consider creating a trust for some, or all, of your assets.  

Why consider a trust? Because it allows you to layout precisely what should happen to your estate in the event an accident occurs in the future. It will ensure that you have established how your money will pass to your family after you pass away.  In this article, we will talk about the use of Trusts in Florida as part of your estate planning. 

If, after reading this blog, you have additional questions about your own situation, then we welcome you to contact our wills and trusts attorneys in Stuart, FL, at our firm, Crary Buchanan.  At Crary Buchanan, we are proud of our standard of excellence, which has allowed us to thrive as one of the oldest law firms on Florida’s Treasure Coast.  

Find a wills and trusts attorney in Stuart who is passionate about giving you the highest quality representation.  Call us today at 772-287-2600, or schedule a free consult online with our online contact form

Some Basics About Trusts

A “trust” is a legal financial instrument that a person (called the “grantor”) can set up to manage his or her assets.  You would set up a trust during your lifetime to make sure that the assets are used in the way that you desire.  Once you, as the grantor, place your assets (or some portion of your assets) into the trust, a third party designated by you – called the trustee – manages those assets. 

Trusts are typically used to pass on your assets to beneficiaries after you pass away.  Why trust rather than a last will and testament?  The benefit of trust over a will is that you can avoid considerable tax burdens, and avoid an arduous probate process.  That is because the assets in the trust can go directly to your beneficiaries upon your death, rather than through probate.  

Now, with regard to trusts, there are two main types – revocable trusts (also called “living trusts”) and irrevocable trusts.  Let’s talk about revocable trusts first.

A Revocable Trust – You Can Change the Terms

The benefit of a revocable trust is that the terms of the trust – i.e., the instructions you place on the management of the trust at creating – can change at any time.  With a revocable trust, you can change beneficiaries, add new beneficiaries, and alter the instructions on how the assets in the trust are managed.  

While having such flexibility with a trust sounds great, there is a catch.  A revocable trust has a few disadvantages compared to an irrevocable one.  

1. No shield from creditors.  Given that the grantor retains control over the trust assets, that means that creditors can access the trust funds to settle debts.

2. Assets still subject to taxes.  Assets held in a revocable trust are also subject to state and federal taxes when the grantor of the trust dies.

An Irrevocable Trust – You Normally Cannot Change the Terms

As the name suggests, and in contrast to revocable trusts, an irrevocable trust cannot be changed after it is created.  Also, unlike a revocable trust, the grantor of the trust loses all right to ownership and, essentially, all control of the assets in the trust.  Only in rare circumstances can a grantor make changes to an irrevocable trust.  

Why would you want such a strict trust, in which you basically lose control over the assets?  The answer is easy – taxes.  The assets in an irrevocable trust are removed from the grantor’s estate.  Thus, those assets are no longer subject to taxes upon the grantor’s death.  

Overall, either an irrevocable or revocable trust is challenging to create.  You need qualified wills and trusts attorneys in Stuart, FL to assist you.

Find an Experienced Wills and Trusts Attorney in Stuart – Call Crary Buchanan

At Crary Buchanan, we are committed to providing clients with exceptional service in every aspect of personal injury and wills and trusts law.  You can depend upon our 85 years of experience in the Florida legal industry. 

Our legal team is passionate about maintaining the high standards of professionalism and legal service that were established and practiced by founding attorneys Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.  Evans Crary Sr. began his law practice in Stuart in 1927 at a time when Martin County was only two years old.  He became a municipal judge at the age of 25 and served as County Attorney for 23 years. 

During his time as County Attorney, he was elected to represent Martin County in the Florida Legislature.  In 1945 he was elected to the Florida House of Representatives.  He served in the House for nine years and even served as Speaker of the House before he went on to become a member of the Florida Senate.  Today, the Crary Buchanan law firm continues to practice the example of integrity, professionalism, energy, and devotion that was clearly illustrated in the lives of both Evans Crary Sr. and Evans Crary Jr.

Our clients are more than case numbers; they are people. We recognize that you are an individual with unique needs and expectations. Our team is here to meet your need and exceed your expectations. When you work with us, you can have confidence that a caring legal advocate is on your side.

If you have more questions or want a dedicated car accidents lawyer in Stuart to help you, call 772-287-2600 or schedule a free consult online with our online contact form.  You can always depend on Crary Buchanan for community, experience, and trust.  Call today. 

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not decide whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed, nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.