When wealthy Florida residents think about their future, they often want their lifestyle to be reflected in their estate plans. In order to accomplish this goal, they often use trusts. These trusts can be used in order to avoid probate court and can contain multiple subtrusts. They are usually revocable while the grantor is alive and irrevocable upon death. While most assets will pass through these trusts, the estate plan may also contain a will to handle certain matters.
For families that have a lot of assets to pass down, estate planning is a continuous process where documents may be changed up to the final moments of a person’s life. Wills and trusts change over time as people’s priorities and relationships evolve. When people become aware that they may not have long to live, they may wish to go over their estate plan in detail to see if any changes need to be made.
Estate plans are often used to not only pass down assets but to showcase a family history. Trusts can ensure that an important property, perhaps a famous home or building, stays in the family for multiple generations. A trust can also limit the power a trustee has to distribute its assets by including certain restrictions.
Trusts are not just for the wealthy, however. They can be useful to parents who have children with special needs and can be drafted in a way so as to not jeopardize their receipt of government benefits. They can also be used to place restrictions on distributions to beneficiaries who might not be able to manage a lump sum inheritance under a will. An attorney can describe other types of trusts and how they might meet a particular client’s needs and goals.