What a Trust Can Do that Your Florida Will Cannot
When it comes to creating a Florida estate plan, two of the most useful tools are the will and the trust. Both of these can help you pass property and assets to your loved ones after your death. However, they are not exactly the same. If you are trying to choose between a will and a trust, you may find that trusts have some important advantages. When you retain a West Palm Beach estate planning attorney, he or she can explain which tools are best for your individual situation.
For now, here’s a look at some of the advantages of a trust over a Florida will.
A Trust Can Help You Avoid Probate
One of the primary reasons people choose to set up a trust is to help avoid probate at death. Probate refers to the legal court process that distributes assets to your heirs once you pass away. During the probate process, the court will oversee how the will is administered. This is to ensure that your estate is distributed per the wishes set forth in your will. Probate can take months, or if there are disputes, it could drag on for years. This results in high legal fees and can wipe out an entire estate in some cases.
With a properly titled trust, assets held in the trust pass directly to loved ones without the need to go through the probate process.
Trusts Allow You to Plan for Incapacitation
When you have a will, it dictates what to do with your property and assets when you die. There are no provisions or protection in case something happens to you during your lifetime. A trust can help you plan for your incapacitation if you become unable to make decisions about your own financial, medical, and/or legal needs.
When you only have a will in place, your family would be forced to petition a court to have a guardian appointed who would have the legal right to make decisions on your behalf. There are also other options your estate planning attorney can suggest that will help with possible incapacitation as well.
Trusts Offer More Privacy Versus a Will
Another perk of a trust over a will is the added privacy it offers. Probate is not only time-consuming, but it’s also very public. Your estate is part of the court system, which means it’s also part of public records. Anyone who wants to come down to the courthouse and look up details of your estate can do so. That means that they can see what the contents of your estate were, who the listed beneficiaries are, how much your loved ones might inherit, etc. This is where scammers live, looking for people to make their next targets.
Contact a Florida Estate Planning Attorney
If you have not started an estate plan yet, now is the time. Some people mistakenly assume that it should be done only after you have amassed a significant amount of assets, but that’s a myth. The earlier you set up your estate plan the better. Contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. today to learn how we can help.