Trust Creation with McGee Law

Trusts distribute assets directly to your beneficiaries after you pass away. A trust is formed as a fiduciary partnership between you (the trustor), the person managing the trust (the trustee), and the people who receive the assets in the trust (the beneficiaries). The trustee transfers asset ownership from the trust to the beneficiaries immediately after your passing. Contact our estate planning team at McGee Law to establish a trust as a part of your estate plan

Why Should You Have a Trust?

Trusts distribute assets to beneficiaries promptly after you pass away. One of the most significant benefits of creating a trust is that assets inside a trust don’t need to go through probate. Another benefit of creating a trust is that it can’t be challenged in court, which prevents family members from fighting over the terms or outcome of the trust. Trusts go into effect while you’re still alive, which means your trustee can manage the trust if you become incapacitated due to a serious medical diagnosis or accident. This gives you more control over handling your assets before you pass away. 

Types of Trusts

There are several different types of trusts. Here are some of the most common types:

Revocable Living Trusts

A revocable living trust allows you to maintain control over the assets placed in the trust while living. When you pass away, the items in the trust transition to designated beneficiaries immediately without going through probate.

Irrevocable Trusts

Irrevocable trusts can’t be altered after they’re established. They’re primarily utilized for tax planning. Irrevocable trusts have several tax benefits and are often used for planning for Medicaid, financial gifts to family members, or life insurance payouts.

Testamentary Trusts

Testamentary trusts are created based on actions stated in your will. When distributing funds to your beneficiaries after you pass away, these trusts reduce your estate tax liability. With a testamentary trust, you can name a minor, such as your child, as a beneficiary and establish timeframes or actions your child must take to receive the funds in the trust (for instance, graduating high school or college). Since these trusts are a part of executing a will, your personal representative oversees them during probate. 

Charitable Trusts

Charitable trusts allow you to make donations to worthy causes upon your passing. There are several tax advantages to these types of trusts. This includes reducing estate tax obligations for the funds you want to give.

Creating a Trust in Florida

 The first step in establishing a trust is to determine which type of trust you’d like to create. Then, you’ll want to name your trustee and beneficiaries. You may also want to note a successor trustee who can oversee the trust if your original trustee is incapacitated or unable to perform their duties. 

For a trust to be valid in Florida, you and two witnesses must sign the document. The witnesses can’t be beneficiaries of the trust. Alternatively, you can have a notary sign the trust along with you. 

Once the trust is made, you need to fund it. This is the process of transferring ownership of assets from your name into the trust’s name. Assets commonly placed in trusts include bank and investment accounts, real estate property, luxury vehicles, and boats.   

Amending a Trust 

Once your trust has been funded, it will remain in effect until you pass away or decide to change it. You should review your trust every few years and make updates as desired. To modify your trust, you’ll want to make a formal amendment noting the changes you desire. The amendment should be filed with your original trust information.  

Trust Establishment and Estate Planning with McGee Law

Given the complexity of trust creation, contacting an experienced estate planning attorney like Jennifer A. McGee, Esq is important. Our team at McGee Law can provide valuable insight and help tailor the trust to meet the specific needs of your estate. Call us at 386-320-7300 or contact us online to get started.

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