Experienced Trust Attorney Serving Orlando, Florida
When it comes to a Florida trust, it can be difficult to know all the ins and outs of the different types of trusts available. You may have an idea that you would benefit from a trust but are unsure of what type of trust to choose. It can be particularly helpful to have an experienced trust lawyer in Orlando to assess your unique situation, discuss the available options with you, help you choose the best option, then prepare the trust of your choice. I am Lea Anne Groover, of Groover Law, and I am a highly knowledgeable trust lawyer in Orlando who can skillfully guide you through the entire process of creating a trust. One of my primary goals is to make it easy and comfortable to do business with me. I further vow to clearly communicate expectations regarding cost and time, upfront.
What is a Trust?
A Trust is a legal document created by the Grantor for the benefit of the Beneficiaries and administered by the Trustee.
- Grantor (sometimes referred to as the Settlor)—The person establishing the trust and designing the provisions.
- A Trustee is the person who ensures the directions of the trust are carried out—typically, the person who establishes the trust during that person’s lifetime.
- Successor Trustee—The person named to carry out the Grantor’s wishes in the event of the Trustee’s death or incapacitation.
- Lifetime Beneficiary—Usually the Grantor, who has lifetime access to the income and principal of the Living Trust during his or her lifetime.
- Death Beneficiary—those who will benefit from the trust upon the death of the Grantor.
What are the Primary Goals of Trusts?
One of the primary advantages of having a Living Trust in the state of Florida is to allow your loved ones to skip the expense and delay of probate court after your death. Probate is the court-supervised process of distributing the estate of a deceased person. When you avoid probate by having a trust in place, your heirs will not have to wait so long for their inheritance. In particular, if you own properties in another state, under a trust, those properties would pass directly to your beneficiaries without being subject to probate in that state. Other benefits and goals of a Living Trust include:
- A Living Trust survives your death and, based on your goals, can provide support for your dependents while protecting the assets from the reach of the beneficiaries’ creditors and predators.
- A Living Trust protects your privacy; while probate becomes a part of the public record, a trust does not, therefore no one can search public records to find out the distribution of your estate.
- A Living Trust allows you to choose a successor trustee who will step in and manage your affairs—without court intervention—in the event of your incapacitation.
- When you have a Living Trust, you gain peace of mind, as a Living Trust sets forth a clear plan to deal with all your assets as well as an illness or incapacitation on your part.
If I Have a Living Trust Do I Also Need a Will?
Yes, there are certain instances where you might also need a Last Will and Testament, even if you have a solid Living Trust in place. One such instance is if you have minor children. While a trust does not allow you to name a guardian for your minor children, a Last Will and Testament does. A Will can also take effect if you happen to have property that has not been transferred into your Living Trust. Suppose you acquire new property and have not changed the title to the name of your Living Trust prior to your death. That property would not pass under the terms of your Living Trust, so having a Last Will and Testament could tell the state that you want to put any assets in your individual name into your Living Trust. This is often referred to as a “pour-over” Will. All assets not titled in the name of your Living Trust pours into your Living Trust.
What are the Differences Between a Revocable Living Trust and an Irrevocable Living Trust?
A Revocable Living Trust allows the terms of the trust to be changed at any time, while an Irrevocable Living Trust, generally, cannot be modified after its creation. The owner of a Revocable Living Trust can remove beneficiaries, designate new beneficiaries, and modify how assets within the trust are managed. A Revocable Living Trust is extremely flexible, and a good choice for many. Irrevocable Living Trusts do, however, have advantages that Revocable Living Trusts do not for advanced estate tax planning and asset protection.
When the owner of a Revocable Living Trust dies, all the assets being held in trust remain subject to federal and state estate taxes. As soon as an Irrevocable Living Trust is signed, the terms are largely “set in stone,” with no changes allowed with a few exceptions. Once assets are transferred into an Irrevocable Living Trust, he or she has removed both ownership rights and most control over the assets. Taxes and protecting the assets are the reasons for choosing an Irrevocable Living Trust.
How Groover Law, PLLC, Can Help with All Your Trust Needs
If you have determined you and your heirs could benefit from a Living Trust, I want to help you set up a Living Trust for your situation. I understand the level of anxiety experienced by most people who are contemplating estate planning, including having a Living Trust prepared. I will always listen carefully to your concerns, answering all your questions in a thorough manner. I will then walk you through each step of the process, so you know exactly what to expect. Contact me at Groover Law for all your estate planning needs.