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Living Wills

What Is a Trust?

A trust is a legal arrangement that allows a third party, known as a trustee, to manage assets on behalf of a designated beneficiary. The individual who creates the trust is also referred to as the trustor, settler, grantor, or benefactor. Trusts are commonly used during the estate planning process to transfer assets on behalf of the trustor. Our team of licensed Orlando wills and trust attorneys provide legal advice, document services, and estate planning for clients throughout Central Florida and Orange County.

What Are the Different Types of Trusts?

With so many different kinds of trusts available, it is important to understand the differences, purposes, and advantages of each one.

Revocable Trusts

Revocable trusts offer flexibility and control, as grantors can modify or dissolve them during their lifetime. These trusts facilitate asset management, avoid probate, and maintain privacy, as the trust documents remain confidential. Although revocable trusts provide significant benefits, the assets within them are still considered part of the grantor’s estate, making them subject to estate taxes. Upon the grantor’s death, a revocable trust typically becomes irrevocable, ensuring beneficiaries receive assets as intended. The Orlando asset protection attorneys at Flick Law Group have decades of experience in helping clients get the best possible results.

Irrevocable Trusts

Irrevocable trusts are legal arrangements that cannot be altered or terminated by the grantor once established. They can provide significant tax advantages since the transferred assets are no longer considered part of the grantor’s estate, reducing estate taxes and offering protection from creditors. Irrevocable trusts also help maintain privacy and avoid probate. However, they lack flexibility and control, making careful planning crucial. Common types include life insurance trusts, charitable trusts, and special needs trusts, each catering to specific financial and estate planning goals.

Living Trusts

A living trust is created during the grantor’s lifetime for efficient asset management and streamlined inheritance. They help avoid probate, expedite asset transfers, and preserve privacy since trust documents are not public. Living trusts can be revocable, offering flexibility and control, or irrevocable, providing tax benefits and creditor protection. They enable appointing a trustee to manage assets if the grantor becomes incapacitated, ensuring financial stability. However, creating a living trust may require more initial effort and expense compared to a will.

Testamentary Trusts

Testamentary trusts are established through a grantor’s will and become effective upon their death. These trusts allow grantors to exert posthumous control over asset distribution, ensuring that beneficiaries receive assets according to stipulated conditions. Testamentary trusts can protect minor or financially inexperienced beneficiaries by providing structured disbursements over time or under specific circumstances. However, they are subject to probate, which may result in a public and time-consuming process. Unlike living trusts, testamentary trusts offer no benefits during the grantor’s lifetime.

Why Do I Need a Trust?

A trust offers numerous benefits for estate planning and asset management. It enables controlled asset distribution to beneficiaries, protects their financial interests, and can provide for minor children or dependents with special needs. Trusts also help avoid probate, ensuring a faster and more private asset transfer process. Depending on the trust type, tax advantages and creditor protection may be available. Additionally, trusts facilitate financial stability in case of grantor incapacity, ensuring assets are managed by a designated trustee.

Florida Trust Laws

Florida trust laws provide a legal framework for establishing and managing trusts within the state. Governed primarily by the Florida Trust Code, these laws set forth guidelines for creating valid trusts, trustee duties, and beneficiary rights. Florida is also known for its favorable asset protection laws, making it an attractive jurisdiction for trust establishment.

Revocable and irrevocable trusts can be set up under Florida law, each offering unique advantages. Florida does not impose a separate state-level estate tax, making trusts an attractive option for residents seeking to minimize tax burdens. However, federal estate taxes still apply, and trust income may be subject to state income tax. Since the process can be quite complex and tedious, it is advisable to consult Orlando capital gains tax reduction attorneys on your planning needs.

In Florida, trustees are required to follow the “prudent investor rule,” which mandates they manage trust assets with care, skill, and diligence, diversifying investments to minimize risks. Trustees also have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of beneficiaries and keep them informed about trust matters.

Florida trust laws include provisions for spendthrift trusts, which protect beneficiaries’ interests from creditors, ensuring that trust assets are used solely for the intended recipient’s benefit. The state also recognizes domestic asset protection trusts (DAPTs), which shield trust assets from the grantor’s creditors when structured properly.

Overall, Florida’s trust laws provide an appealing environment for individuals seeking to establish a trust for estate planning, asset management, or wealth protection purposes. However, consulting with experienced Orlando estate planning attorneys is crucial to ensure compliance with state regulations and to maximize the benefits of a trust.

Last Will and Testament paper

What Does a Trust Lawyer Do?

A trust attorney specializes in trust creation, administration, and management, providing legal advice for estate planning needs. They help clients draft trust documents, select trustees, and ensure compliance with relevant laws. Trust attorneys also advise on asset protection, tax implications, and dispute resolution, safeguarding clients’ interests and ensuring smooth trust operation.

Find an Orlando Trust Attorney

If you are looking for a qualified Orlando trusts attorney, call our law firm or submit a form request to schedule a meet-and-greet. Our lawyers can assist in the creation, administration, and management of different kinds of trusts including drafting documents, selecting trustees, ensuring compliance with laws, advising on asset protection, tax implications, and resolving disputes.

What Is a Will?

A will is a legal document that outlines an individual’s wishes for asset distribution after their death. It designates beneficiaries, names an executor to manage the estate, and may include guardianship arrangements for minor children. Wills are essential for estate planning to make sure that a person’s intentions are honored and prevent disputes among surviving relatives or loved ones.

What Are the Different Types of Wills?

If you are planning to create a will, make sure you understand their unique characteristics, benefits, and limitations to ensure that your intentions are accurately reflected and legally enforceable.

Living Wills

A living will documents an individual’s health care decisions during end-of-life situations or incapacitation. These wills outline desired medical treatments, life-sustaining measures, or interventions, guiding health care providers and family members in making critical decisions. Living wills provide clarity and reassurance, ensuring a person’s wishes are respected during challenging medical circumstances.

Testamentary Trust Wills

Testamentary trust wills merge traditional wills with trusts upon an individual’s death. Assets are transferred into the trust rather than directly to beneficiaries, allowing for controlled distribution and added protection. These wills are particularly beneficial for supporting minors or financially inexperienced beneficiaries while still preserving the grantor’s intentions.

Joint Wills

Joint wills are created by two individuals, typically spouses, outlining their mutual intentions for asset distribution after death. They stipulate that the surviving partner inherits the entire estate, and upon their passing, remaining assets are distributed to designated beneficiaries. While promoting simplicity, joint wills may lack flexibility, as the surviving partner cannot make changes after the first partner’s death.

Why Do I Need a Will?

Creating a will is essential for estate planning, ensuring your intentions for asset distribution are honored after your death. A will designates beneficiaries, appoints an executor, and may assign guardians for minor children. It reduces potential disputes among heirs, provides clarity during a difficult time, and prevents your estate from being subject to intestate succession, which relies on state laws to determine asset distribution. If you are a business owner, you should find the right Orlando business planning attorneys to help navigate the management of your business assets and succession.

Florida Last Will & Testament Laws

Florida last will and testament laws govern the creation, validity, and execution of wills within the state. To be considered legally valid, a will in Florida must be in writing, signed by the testator (the person making the will) and witnessed by at least two competent individuals. Florida does not recognize holographic (handwritten) wills unless they meet these requirements. Additionally, the testator must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind when drafting the will.

Under Florida law, a will can be revoked or amended by the testator through the creation of a new will or by physically destroying the existing one. If a will is deemed invalid, the estate may be subject to intestate succession, where the state determines asset distribution. It is important to guarantee that the will meets all legal requirements to prevent potential disputes, lengthy probate processes, or unintended distribution of assets. Consulting an experienced Orlando estate planning attorney is recommended to guarantee that your will adheres to Florida laws and accurately reflects your wishes.

What Does a Last Will Lawyer Do?

A last will lawyer specializes in drafting, reviewing, and updating wills to ensure they comply with legal requirements and accurately reflect clients’ wishes. They provide guidance on estate planning, asset distribution, and beneficiary designation. An Orlando wills attorney can also assist with probate processes and handle any disputes concerning the will.

Find an Orlando, FL Wills Attorney

If you are researching Orlando trust administration attorneys, call or submit an online request to schedule a consultation where you can meet our team and determine if we’re a good fit. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you through this process.

Schedule a Meet & Greet

Call or submit a form request to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys. We look forward to speaking with you.

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