August 6, 2013

Revocable Living Trusts are one of the best ways to avoid your estate going through probate.  As an estate attorney I do not hesitate to recommend a living trust in Florida.  I cannot emphasize enough all of the benefits of taking this action.

Like a will a revocable trust enables you to name your beneficiaries of property and leave what you choose to the family members of your choice—even young children.  They can be revised when necessary.  Wills, however, do not allow your family to avoid probate or a conservatorship.

Revocable living trust or Will?

There are advantages to both wills and trusts so it’s important to understand which is best for your situation.  Wills, unlike trusts, enables you to name guardians and property managers for small children, as well as, instruct the living in how debts and taxes should be paid for the estate.   Wills are very simple to make and relatively inexpensive.  Revocable trusts on the other hand, do not allow you to name guardians but they do allow you to pass your property to your family without them paying a large financial burden.  I think that this is the selling point for a trust in Florida.  Probate laws have made it difficult to contest and estate taxes can certainly eat through what you wish to pass down to your family.  If you are worried about your children, know that their care and guardianship can be handled through other means (see my family law practice for more information).

Leaving property to a minor

When property is left to young children (minors) a trustee will need to be established to manage the funds and property until they turn 18 years of age.  This is easily accomplished and not only allows your children and estate to avoid the rigors and costs of probate, but also provides them with a financial mentor that can handle their affairs until such time that they can manage it on their own; in short keeping them with the type of care and security that they deserve.

As I’ve said there are benefits to both types of documents, but I prefer the revocable living trust for several reasons, the most important of which is probably the security of the trust (harder to challenge in the court) and it enables you to appoint people you trust in a position of authority should you become incapacitated for any reason—and remember, this is not just for the elderly.  What should happen if you are in a car accident and end up in a coma?  A living trust enables you family to automatically have the authority to make the appropriate decisions.

If you are wavering back and forth between a will and a revocable trust in Florida, this Orlando estate attorney is more than willing to take your call and help you make the appropriate decision.

 

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