Trusts play an increasingly important role in forming the backbone of many estate plans. People use these legal documents to transfer the ownership of property to one another outside of the courts and free from taxation. They can not only serve as powerful and flexible alternatives to wills but also as a way to gain benefits in the years before a person’s death.
Though with these compelling advantages, it is important to recognize the legal basis for trusts and how to properly establish them. A Plantation trusts lawyer like Marc Brown, P.A. can provide valuable assistance in this endeavor. A trusts and estates attorney at our firm can work with you to explain how trusts work, what goes into creating them, and how they could serve your needs now and long into the future.
Uses and Functions of Trusts
In the most basic sense, a trust is a way to move property between two parties. The trust maker surrenders ownership of the property from the moment of the trust’s creation and sends it to a trustee. That trustee then keeps the property under their control until the time comes to distribute it to a beneficiary.
On the surface, this is a way to ensure the safe movement of property to another person that occurs at an appointed time. This can be a way to provide for a child’s education or the long-term care of those with disabilities. In fact, the people receiving these benefits will not even have to pay taxes on these funds or property.
However, creating a trust can also have significant benefits for the maker. Once property moves into a trust, the original owner no longer needs to pay taxes on the value of these items. Furthermore, surrendering ownership of an asset can help to lessen a person’s overall personal wealth. This could make them eligible for government benefit programs or shield a family home from liquidation if the time comes to move into a nursing home. A Plantation trusts attorney could provide more information about the various uses and benefits of trusts.
How to Create a Trust
Once a person decides that creating a trust is the right move for them, the next natural question is how to go about this process. Thankfully, Florida state law provides a clear blueprint for how to accomplish this goal.
According to Florida Statute § 736.0401, individuals may create a trust in one of three ways:
- Transfer property to a trustee with the intent that the trustee later transfers it to a beneficiary
- Trustees holding property may publicly declare this fact
- A party may execute a power of appointment in favor of a trustee
For most people, the first option is the primary way to create a trust. To this end, it is vital to pick a trustee who has the knowledge and willingness to serve in this important role. A trustee takes temporary control of assets while awaiting the designated time to distribute them to the named beneficiary. At the same time, they have a duty to maintain as much value in that property as possible. A Plantation trusts attorney could help to further explain the trust-making process and assist parties in nominating trustees to handle the relevant property.
Schedule a Consultation with a Plantation Trusts Attorney
People forming or updating an estate plan would do well to consider creating a trust. These can serve as an excellent way to transfer assets to heirs after your death that avoids costly and lengthy probate. In addition, trusts can move these assets at any point in the future and could help you to lower your tax burden or become eligible for certain government benefit programs.
Reach out to a Plantation trusts lawyer now to explore your options. Marc Brown, P.A. can explain how trusts work, talk you through the process of creating these arrangements, and draft the documents needed to secure the transfer of your property to the intended beneficiaries. Call now to discuss your future plans.