Many individuals and families from all economic backgrounds find that living trusts are a relatively straightforward and effective estate planning tool to provide for family members, loved ones, and charities after their passing, while providing numerous benefits beyond those achieved by a will alone. Florida estate planning attorney Ryan Mynard works with individuals and families throughout Florida to create and maintain living trusts that protect assets, avoid excessive costs for beneficiaries, and, in some cases, provide tax benefits.
A Living Trust Lets You Pass Wealth Outside Probate
With a will, a person’s assets are designated to be given to certain beneficiaries upon passing, but many estates have to pass through the probate court process when there is only a will in place. This means that an administrator will have to be appointed to manage the distribution process, probate attorneys may need to be retained, and a judge will need to oversee the entire process, which can involve court hearings and delay.
A living trust works outside of the probate process. With a living trust, an individual will transfer assets into the trust now, and, upon passing, those assets will pass directly to the named beneficiaries of the trust without the court needing to be involved, resulting in less cost, delay, or potential litigation.
In addition, because the assets will not pass through probate where matters become public record, a trust provides for additional privacy in transferring your assets.
A Trust Can Ensure Your Intended Purposes Are Honored
A living trust also allows individuals to provide direction on specifically how the assets should be used by the beneficiary. Unlike a will, which simply transfers property to a beneficiary, with the result that your property can be disposed of however a beneficiary sees fit, a trust allows you to appoint a trustee who will manage the assets in the trust on behalf of the beneficiary pursuant to your wishes.
For example, you may want to create a trust which will provide for educational expenses for your children, but not be used for other purposes. Or you may want to benefit a charitable organization and have the organization use your assets for a specific purpose.
A Trust Can Provide Creditor and Tax Protection
Living trusts fall into two main categories: revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts. With a revocable trust, you can create the trust currently in favor of one or more beneficiaries, but you then have the option take property back out of the trust for your own benefit should you need to do so.
With an irrevocable trust, however, you cannot later retrieve the assets from the trust without the agreement of all beneficiaries. In creating an irrevocable trust, you are essentially transfering the property now so that it is no longer considered yours, which means the assets in the trust can be protected from creditors. You may also be eligible for avoiding the implications of the federal estate tax by creating an irrevocable trust.
When you work with estate planning attorney Ryan Mynard, he will help you assess your estate planning needs with regard to your specific circumstances and create an estate plan, which can include one or more living trusts, which meets those needs and creates security and stability for your beneficiaries.
Contact Ryan Mynard Today About Creating Your Florida Living Trust
To being the process of creating or updating a Florida living trust – or to speak about any estate planning questions or concerns you have – contact Florida estate planning attorney Ryan Mynard at 850-683-3940 today to get started.