Plan for Your Senior Years with a Living Trust
Estate planning is essential if you want to protect your future and your family’s financial security. If you wait until you are unable to make decisions, your assets may not be distributed how you would like them to be. A lack of estate planning can also lead to disputes, unnecessary expenses, and heavy tax consequences. One option for protecting your assets is a living trust – a Boca Raton living trust lawyer can explain the advantages and benefits of this option and help you decide if it is right for you.
What is a Living Trust?
Living trusts are probably the most used estate planning tool in the state of Florida. A living trust is a legal instrument that you create during your lifetime for the benefit of your beneficiaries. The assets of the trust are managed by a trustee, who has a fiduciary obligation to manage those assets in the best interest of the beneficiaries. The trust is funded when assets are transferred into the trust.
This isn’t as drastic as it sounds. For one, most living trusts are “revocable” meaning that they can be revoked by you anytime prior to your death or incapacitation. You can also name yourself as the trustee and structure it so that you can use the assets of the trust for your benefit during your lifetime. As a result, you retain control over your estate and enjoy the flexibility to change your estate plan as the need arises.
An experienced Boca Raton living trust lawyer can help you create a trust that meets all of your estate planning needs.
What are the Advantages of a Living Trust?
In addition to being able to retain control over your assets, there are numerous benefits to creating a living trust:
- Avoiding probate. For many people, this is the principal benefit of creating a living trust. Wills must be admitted to probate before the assets can be distributed to your heirs. The probate court will oversee the process, which means that it can be slow and expensive. A living trust is administered according to the terms of the trust without any involvement from a court.
- Privacy. Probate is a matter of public record, which means that anyone can review the filings and see who your heirs are, what assets you have, and other sensitive information.
- Incapacity. Your will can be admitted to probate only after you have died. If you are incapacitated, this means that your estate could potentially hang in limbo for years, with no one who is able to make important decisions on your behalf.
- Continuous investment management. A living trust typically names successor trustees in the event that you become incapacitated, which means that any investment management will continue uninterrupted.
- Immediate availability of assets. As noted above, the probate process can be slow – nothing can be done without approval from the probate court. With a living trust, assets are available immediately. This means that assets can be used to pay estate expenses related to your death or incapacity as soon as the need arises.
Reach Out to a Boca Raton Living Trust Lawyer
If you’re considering creating a living trust, Ellis Law Group can help you meet your estate planning goals. Our Boca Raton living trust lawyers have the knowledge and experience you need to protect your family’s future. Call us at 561-910-7500 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with a Boca Raton living trust lawyer today.