The cornerstone document in any estate plan is the Florida last will and testament (“Will). The Will allows you to designate who you want to be your beneficiaries upon death, designate guardians for your minor children, and designate a personal representative to represent your estate during the Florida probate process.
Although a Will by itself is useful for the purposes of inheritance, if your goal is to avoid Florida probate court and avoid all the delays of administration and the probate attorney’s expenses, then a Revocable Living Trust (“Trust”) is the way to go.
A Revocable Living Trust allows you to avoid probate court for those assets that are titled under the Trust. The revocable living trust allows you a lot of flexibility, whether you want your assets to be distributed immediately or during a period of time.
There is a cost/benefit analysis when choosing to create a Will or a Trust. A Florida Will is a lot simpler to create than a Trust. Therefore, the cost of creating a Will is a lot lower than creating a Trust. Creating a Will will cost you a lot less right now, but it will cost your estate and/or beneficiaries a lot more during the probate administration.
On the other hand, creating a Trust will be more expensive when you create it, but it will save your estate and your beneficiaries thousand of dollars when administering the Trust when you pass away.
You must ask yourself, do I want to pay more now but put my money in the hands of my beneficiaries, or do I want to pay less now and let my beneficiaries worry about the cost of the probate process?
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