Everyone in Florida seems to be going crazy to setup a Florida living trust. Often we find ourselves asking why does this client need a living trust. In most cases they don’t, but if clients are looking for privacy, to save time or money on probate or have assets in excess of 1,000,000 a Florida living trust might be a good vehicle for their estate planning.
Much like a will, a living trust will describe what happens to your property in the event of your death. While you are alive, you can remain in control and have the power to change the trust at any time. Setting up a living trust allows you to avoid the expense and long delays of probate, and may even save you money on taxes.
In most states including Florida, you don’t have to register a living trust with the courts in probate. When one transfers their assets into a living trust they can avoid the expense and delay associated with probate. One asset that is not often put into a living trust is one’s home. This can cause a probate to be established just for the home. Even if the home is classified as a homestead in Florida, Title insurance companies require a probate deed to be issued. Without this process, the title company will often not write a title insurance policy.
There are several ways of avoiding the expense and delay associated with transferring a home. One way is to place the home in a living trust, there are advantages and risks involved with this process that should be discussed along with your personal circumstances with an estate planning attorney. The second is by use of a transfer by deed. One needs to be careful with deed transfers also. They can cause problems such as medicaid eligibility, create unintended gifts.
What is the best method to plan for your estate. Most estate plans are unique to the assets, needs, and circumstances of the individuals involved. For an evaluation of your circumstances see a local estate planning attorney.