Many Americans consider their estate plan complete after they have drafted a last will and testament, never considering the benefits that could come along with trust administrationoptions. Even though you may think that you do not have enough money for a trust, you could still qualify for these helpful estate planning tools. Consider using a trust to avoid taxes, protect your privacy and assets, and bypass probate requirements in Florida.

For those with high-asset estates or small businesses, trusts can provide extra opportunities to avoid double taxation through estate taxes. If your estate is valued at more than $5 million as an individual or more than $10.5 million as a couple, consider using a trust to avoid taxes. Using a traditional will may cost you as much as 40 percent in taxes after you reach the federal maximum. That is, if you are handing down a business that is valued at $6 million, your heirs would only receive $3.6 million because of taxes. This is a significant difference. A trust can help protect your assets from these unfair taxes.

If you are seeking additional privacy protection for information related to your estate, a trust could be a beneficial decision. Unlike a will, your trust information is only disclosed to relevant parties. If you intend to exclude certain parties, such as your children, from your estate, they could learn about the reasons for your decision if you place the rationale in the will. That information would be protected under the umbrella of a trust, however, allowing you to manage your affairs with more privacy.

Perhaps most importantly, your family will be able to avoid probate altogether if you manage your trust properly. Probate is a required legal verification of your will and testament after your death. Trusts do not require such review, making your estate administration more efficient and easier for your heirs.

If you are considering using a trust in your estate plan, contact a qualified probate attorney. These professionals can help you prepare your estate to fit your family’s needs and preferences.

Luis E. Barreto