A trust may be ideal for those who are looking for a convenient way to manage their affairs before and after they pass away. It is typically used in an effort to bypass Florida probate laws, but there are many other benefits to creating either a living trust or an irrevocable version of this document.
Trust assets stay outside of your estate
Property such as a home, a business or anything else that you cherish can be held in your trust’s name. This can be ideal because it may help to shield these items from being taken by creditors, the government or your spouse in a divorce settlement. Holding property outside of your estate will also reduce the federal estate tax burden. Therefore, your beneficiaries can keep a larger percentage of their inheritance.
Exert control from beyond the grave
Another benefit to having a trust is that it can remain in effect after you die. This means that you can withhold assets from beneficiaries until you feel that they are ready to receive them. For instance, you could stipulate that your adult child receive half of an inheritance now and the other half upon turning 40. You could also tie distributions to certain accomplishments such as completing school or completing a drug rehab program.
Keep your affairs private
The terms of a trust will never be revealed to the public without your consent. This means that they can be withheld from the media, your company’s investors or even close family members. Keeping the terms of a trust private may prevent conflicts emerging between beneficiaries, which might make the estate administration process easier. It may also prevent unnecessary scrutiny into your life or the lives of your children.
Creating a trust may be an ideal way to ensure that your needs are met today and in the future. If you already have a trust, it may be a good idea to review it at least once a year to ensure that it still conforms to state law.