A will is a fundamental part of your Florida estate plan. Yet, in some cases, you may have certain estate planning objectives that a will does not help you accomplish. Trusts are another type of estate planning tool. While they, like wills, allow you to leave assets behind for specified beneficiaries, they may offer other benefits, too.
According to Kiplinger, when you establish a trust, you also appoint someone trustee. It becomes this individual’s job to oversee distributions and otherwise manage the trust. Different types of trusts exist, but establishing one may allow you to do the following, which a will typically cannot.
If you have fears about creditors coming after your estate after your death and taking some of what you intend to leave behind, a trust gives you a way around this. Once you include assets in a trust, they are no longer your property. Instead, they are the property of your trustee, so they stay safe if creditors come after your estate.
Probate is the legal process involved in validating your will. It is often complex and timely, but any assets you place into a trust avoid the probate process entirely.
When you leave a loved one’s assets in a standard will and that loved one is also a recipient of government benefits, such as Medicaid, you risk your beneficiary not qualifying for benefits during means-testing. Assets you transfer through a trust do not come into play during means-testing.
Some trusts are revocable, or changeable, and some are not. Make sure you understand the benefits associated with each type of trust you consider before creating one.