Estate planning documents are frequently used to establish a trust. This is a commonly used step by residents of Florida and across the country to keep assets out of probate and the public eye when an individual has passed on. If an estate ends up in probate, a state may become responsible for the distribution to heirs.

A legal or financial expert often handles setting up a trust. This may help to ensure that the trust is developed according to state regulations and that the trust accomplishes what it is designed to accomplish. It is worth considering the expenditure for professional assistance when constructing any document as important as a will, power of attorney or trust. Professional experts may also be able to help an individual determine if a life insurance trust or special needs trust would be beneficial to the estate holder’s heirs.

Once a trust is set up, it is important to note that some assets, such as insurance policies and retirement accounts, will not necessarily flow into the trust. These types of financial vehicles usually require that beneficiaries be named when the account or policy is set up.

Although a legal document may have a long life, the circumstances and situations of each individual’s life change over the course of years. It is worth considering a review of and updates to estate documents every few years or in the event of life changes, such as divorces, marriages, births and deaths. Setting up and forgetting about estate documents is a common mistake individuals make. Trust administration may be a crucial part of ensuring that the desires of an individual are fulfilled when he or she is no longer around.

Luis E. Barreto