What is a Trust?

A Trust is a legal agreement that allows a responsible party called a trustee to control financial or property assets for the benefit of another person called a beneficiary.  One of the many benefits of a Trust is that you can create numerous ways to protect and distribute your assets based on your personal financial goals. Through a properly drafted Trust you can benefit both yourself during your lifetime and your beneficiaries after you are gone.

Why should I use a trust?

Using a Trust can help you keep your property and money out of the probate process. A Trust can also manage assets for minor and disabled children, avoid expensive estate taxes, and make charitable gifts. 

Who needs a trust?

In short everyone should explore Trust options, but certain groups are in higher need of Trust planning. 

  • If you are on your second or later marriage and you and your spouse have different beneficiaries to pass assets to, you should consider creating  a Trust to ensure that each spouse's estate will go where he or she wants it to go without needing probate.

  • If you are a single person in Florida with assets of over $75,000, creating a Trust can help you avoid probate costs and the wasting of your assets.

  • A Florida Trust can help you avoid a second costly probate If you own any property or valuable assets outside of the state of Florida. 

  • If you plan to leave your minor children your retirement accounts and/or the proceeds from a life insurance policy, it is wise to consider creating a Trust specifically for the purpose of managing those assets until they reach adulthood. 

  • For those Florida residents with assets totaling over $11.2 million dollars per individual or $22.4 million per couple, a Trust can help you pass your assets in a way that minimizes taxes on your estate.

  • If you have concerns over mental health or dementia causing you to lose control over your assets, a properly drafted Trust can protect you and make sure you have control over how a guardianship over that Trust is enacted.  

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