August 2006 Archives

August 30, 2006

Life Insurance Proceeds, Retirement Plan Benefits

A trustor can name the trustee of a living trust or of a testamentary trust created in a will as beneficiary of his life insurance proceeds. However, if the trustee of a living trust is named beneficiary, the trust must exist at the time that the beneficiary is named. These principles also apply to retirement plan benefits.

August 29, 2006

Florida Revocable Living Trust

In many jurisdictions, Florida revocable trusts cannot be revoked unless the trustor expressly retains the right to revoke. Revocable living trusts allow a trustor to manage his assets, to plan for his incapacity, and to avoid probate. The beneficiary of the Living trust or Revocable Living Trust gains interest in the assets during the trustor's lifetime and gains possession upon the trustor's death.

A trustor can devise assets in his pour-over will to the trustee of his revocable living trust or to a trust created by someone else. Such a devise is known as a pour-over gift and is valid only if the trust was in effect prior to the will or was created at the same time as the will. The pour-over gift is made to the trust as the trust exists at the trustor's death, which includes any amendments made to the trust after the will is executed.

August 13, 2006

Living Trust: Florida Estate Planning Basics

You can avoid probate in Florida, and pass your property to your children within only a couple of months by creating a Florida Living Trust. A Living Trust is a legal entity that is separate from you as an individual. You transfer title to your major assets to this trust—like your house and your brokerage accounts. During your lives, you and your spouse serve as the trustees of the trust, which gives you the power to buy, sell, and otherwise transfer any of the assets in it. When both of you die, the assets in the trust are transferred to the beneficiaries of the trust, usually your children, without going through probate at all.

Though it costs some money now to set up a Living Trust, and takes some time to manage it, it costs about 1/10th of what the probate process will cost your estate and allows you to craft an estate plan that maximizes what you've got for the people who need it most, your kids.