A Living Trust or Revocable Living Trust (“Trust”) allows you to have control over your assets during your lifetime and in the unfortunate event of your passing.
When you create a Trust you select a Trustee. The Trustee is the person that administers the Trust. During your lifetime, you are typically the Trustee. In the event of incapacity or death, then you designate a Successor Trustee to administer the Trust on your behalf.
Trust have increased in popularity in Florida because they provide a variety of your benefits:
- Avoid Probate;
- Avoid Guardianship proceedings in the event of Incapacity;
- Have control over your assets; and
- Asset protection for beneficiaries at your death.
A Trust can be amended any time prior to your death as long as you have capacity. Upon your death, the Trust becomes irrevocable and no longer can be changed.
Compared to a Will, the Trust provides you with a lot more control. With a Will, all your assets get transferred to your beneficiaries through the Probate administration immediately unless you create a “Testamentary Trust.” A testamentary trust is a Will with a Trust which is created upon your death.
The Trust allows you to distribute all your assets upon your death to your beneficiaries or distribute the assets through a series of distributions.
If you have minor children the Trust is particularly useful. Not only does it avoid appointing a Guardian for your child, but you can make sure that the assets are used for his or her education, and that the assets remain in the Trust until an specified event or age.