Many people in Florida hold the notion that estate planning is about preparing for eventual death. Forbes takes a different view on the matter and suggests it should be thought of as a way of assuming important control over your assets while you are still living as well as after you die. As you evaluate your options, you may wonder if a trust can be beneficial for you. That really depends on what you want to achieve and how large your estate is.

There are several different types of trusts. Some of the lesser known include an IRA trust. This can be used when you have large amounts of money in an IRA and you want to protect it from being squandered by heirs or accessible to creditors. A similar trust type is the credit shelter trust. Best used by people with estates valued at $5 million or more, it offers a way to avoid federal estate taxes which kick in at higher levels.

A qualified terminable interest property trust allows you to allocate how money will be handled by your heirs. Again best if you have a sizeable estate and also if you are concerned about how wisely your heirs would act when all of a sudden in possession of large sums of money. It may also be a good way to outline who gets what when step-children are involved. A generation-skipping trust may be something to consider if you want to ensure money remains available for your grandchildren.

To get more information about trusts and how they work, you can visit the Florida trust and estate planning page on our website.

Luis E. Barreto