To set up a consultation – call us at (727) 822-2200
There are many advantages to having a Trust rather than simply having a Will. One major advantage is that a Trust may make it possible to avoid probate. The Trust is created and your assets are placed in the Trust through funding. With a typical grantor Trust, you can continue to use these assets during your lifetime. Because the assets are legally owned by the Trust and not in your individual name, these assets do not pass through probate, and instead can be distributed directly to the named beneficiaries at your death. Probate can be costly and time-consuming, so many people choose to create a Trust so that the family will not have to endure that process. Another benefit of the Trust is the ability distribute assets over time rather than in one lump sum. This may be beneficial to provide for a surviving spouse, young children, individuals with disabilities, or individuals that suffer from alcoholism or addiction. This helps to ensure that your beneficiaries are provided for over a longer period of time and the Trust corpus is allowed to grow.
A Trust can also avoid a costly and unpleasant guardianship. If you become incapacitated or otherwise unable to manage your affairs, someone must step in to manage the affairs of everyday life such as paying bills. If the you hold assets in your individual name (rather than owning the assets in Trust) a Durable Power of Attorney is sometimes sufficient to allow someone to manage your assets and affairs. In other situations, a Durable Power of Attorney is not sufficient and a court-supervised guardianship becomes necessary. Guardianships can be extremely expensive, intrusive, and may erode your individual autonomy. On the other hand, if you have a Trust, the Trust allows the trustee or successor trustee to step in and manage affairs without court supervision. This helps to reduce stress on you and your family, preserve your assets for your care and well-being, and preserve assets of your estate at your death.
For large estates, certain Trusts may be created to save on federal estate taxes. Some of these Trusts are designed to allow a married couple to shelter monies from federal taxes. Other Trusts are designed to provide liquid funds for the beneficiaries to pay any federal estate tax that is owed. If an estate is potentially at the taxable level, it is imperative that the estate plan is structured correctly to help the estate or surviving family members from paying federal estate taxes, or to help from paying more than is necessary. A Charitable Remainder Trust is another kind of Trust that aids in the planning of certain large estates. A Charitable Remainder Trust may make it possible to receive income for life, avoid certain capital gains, gain tax deductions, and leave assets to a favorite charity.
Gulf Beaches Law, P.A. can help you decide which of these or other Trusts are best suited to your needs and your family’s present and future needs.
To set up a consultation - call us at (727) 822-2200