TRUSTS ENABLE A TIMELY AND ORDERLY DISTRIBUTION OF ASSETS

Many people in Florida have a will that specifies how they wish to pass on their estate to their heirs. However, not many people are aware that a will does not have provisions for how and when the assets in the estate are to be used by the heirs. Therefore, if a person wants to avoid such a situation, a trust is probably a much better choice. By creating a trust, an estate holder can have control over the estate, even if the person is incapacitated.

It is quite a common practice to create trusts that have payouts over a predetermined period of time at regular intervals. The purpose of that kind of trust is to limit the access of the beneficiaries to all funds held in a trust at once. Therefore, the person is able to choose at what age and at what intervals the trust will make payments to the beneficiaries.

A trust also makes it possible for estate owners to include terms and conditions, which a beneficiary must meet before the person is able to inherit assets from the trust. For example, if the beneficiary of a trust has a history of drug abuse, that heir must prove that drugs are not being used before inheriting assets held in the trust.

Another important aspect that trust experts stress is avoiding large payouts. That helps with maintaining the principal amount of the trust through the heir’s lifetime while that heir continues to receive payouts from the income generated by the trust.

Since there are so many benefits to a trust, every Florida resident may wish to consider it an integral part of their estate plan. In most cases, a living trust or a revocable trust is a wise choice because those trusts have provisions for allocations and trust administration during the lifetime of the decedent. However, if the person becomes incapacitated, a revocable trust or a living trust becomes an irrevocable trust and that trust cannot be altered any more.

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Written by Luis E. Barreto

Luis E. Barreto

Luis is a probate and guardianship litigator with over 23 years of experience in the field. Determination of heirs, will contests, breaches of fiduciary duty, removal of personal representatives, guardians and trustees are just some of the types of litigation he addresses. In addition, he administers non-contested estates and guardianships.