What Is a Trust?

A trust is a legally binding agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of how an individual’s assets and properties are managed and distributed after death. Trusts are private agreements that aren’t recorded, filed, or registered. This allows the grantor (the person setting up the trust) to privately distribute their assets as they like. One of the biggest reasons people set up trusts is that they do not want the probate court to decide how their assets are managed.

What Are the Benefits of a Trust?

If you’re on the fence whether you need a trust, here are some benefits you should consider.

Control Asset Distribution

The biggest benefit of setting up a trust is it allows you to decide what you want to do with your assets and properties. You can decide the terms of your asset distribution, the beneficiaries, how they’ll receive the assets, etc. Even better, you can select a successor trustee to ensure your trust is managed according to your wishes.

Avoid Probate and Court Fees

When established according to protocols, most types of trusts bypass the probate process. Probate processes can be lengthy, time-consuming, and costly, so you’ll save your loved ones a lot of inconvenience by setting up a trust.

Reduce Your Gift and Estate Tax Burden

Certain types of trusts allow you to pass on property to your heirs without paying any gift or estate tax.

Restrict Creditor Access to Assets

Creditors can’t access your assets once you’ve transferred them to a trust. This is because transferring assets to a trust moves them out of your estate.

Protect Your Loved Ones

A trust ensures your loved ones are taken care of when you’re no longer around. It allows you to protect minors, spouses, relatives, and other beneficiaries who are dependent on you.

If you have a family member who is a minor or has special needs, a trust can allow you to decide exactly how your assets are used to manage their care. This ensures the proceeds from your assets aren’t used for other purposes you didn’t intend.

Plan for Sickness or Incapacity

With a trust in place, you can also avoid conservatorship if you get sick or incapacitated. You can select a person you trust to step in and make decisions on your behalf.

Ensuring Business Continuity

If you have a business, you can also outline terms to specify how you want your business to be managed, distributed, who’s in charge, etc.

What Are the Types of Trusts?

Depending on your needs and goals, you can choose from a few types of trusts:

Revocable Trusts

Revocable trusts, or living trusts, are trusts that can be revoked even after they’ve been created. The grantor can change these trusts and their assets as long as they’re alive and deemed mentally competent.

The major drawback of these trusts is that creditors can access the assets in them to claim debts.

Irrevocable Trusts

Irrevocable trusts are the complete opposite of revocable trusts. The grantor typically cannot change these once they’ve been set up and creditors cannot access the grantor’s assets.

Irrevocable trusts are a good choice for anyone trying to avoid probate and estate tax obligations.

Testamentary Trusts

A testamentary trust is created as part of the grantor’s last will. The trustor uses it to detail how all or a part of their assets are managed/distributed. A grantor may also assign an executor of the will to oversee its execution. These types of trusts are more common for those who have assets that will be inherited by minor children, relatives, etc.

The main drawback of testamentary trusts is they have to go through probate as they’re part of a will.

Other Types of Trusts

Here are other common types of trusts that you might want to discuss with your trust lawyer in Sarasota:

  • Asset protection trust
  • Special needs trust
  • Discretionary trusts
  • Blind trusts
  • Joint trusts

What Is the Process for Setting up a Trust in Sarasota?

The first step to setting up a trust in Sarasota is getting in touch with a trust attorney, setting an appointment, and preparing by:

  • Taking note of your goals, issues, or concerns about setting up a trust
  • Creating a thorough inventory of your assets and properties
  • Selecting a trustee
  • Deciding on beneficiaries and considering their conditions
  • Taking into account your existing estate plan if you have one

Once you’ve considered these aspects, you can meet with your attorney to discuss them. Your trust lawyer in Sarasota will suggest the best options and draw up a trust document for you to review and make changes as needed.

The next step is signing the trust document before a notary public. After establishing the trust, you only need to transfer property into the trust with your attorney’s help.

Can You Set Up a Trust Without an Attorney?

While Florida law allows you to set up a trust on your own, you’re better off getting help from a Sarasota trust attorney.

For starters, a trust attorney is experienced in the field and they understand the process thoroughly. They will carefully undertake all the necessary activities, ensuring your trust isn’t challenged in court.

Secondly, an attorney can help you plan and execute your trust and its instructions. Your attorney will consider all your goals, concerns, and issues while advising you on the best strategy for establishing trust.

Of course, if you have too many assets or complex instructions to include in the trust document, you will need an attorney’s expertise.

Why Choose 941 Law Help?

941 Law Help sits down with each client to understand their needs, enabling us to offer tailored recommendations that give our clients the results they were hoping for.

Aside from being well-versed in legal matters, we have the experience to guide you through the tricky process of trust and estate planning. Along the way, we can also help you change your plans or resolve any issues that arise.

941 Law Help: Get Professional Assistance with Planning Your Trust

Whether it’s asset protection or incapacity planning, there are many reasons to set up a trust. Start taking care of your estate today for peace of mind.

Fill out our online form or call attorney Michael at 941-241-2453 today