Here is a summary of an interesting article on Florida Living Trusts:
1) Florida Estate Planning To Avoid Probate Costs. A Florida living trusts can help eliminate the cost and delay of probate.
2) What About Taxes And Asset Protection In My Florida Living Trust. No Tax Benefit. Florida living trusts do not provide any tax benefits at all. All income from the trust passes through to the personal or joint tax returns of the Beneficiaries. No Asset Protection. Although Florida Living trusts can provide some asset protection in the event of a divorce, Florida living trusts do not protect assets from creditors or judgment lawsuits. If you personally own an asset, and if that asset is not protected or legally sheltered, and if you “lose in court”, then the litigating party or plaintiff will likely obtain a judgment order to reach-in to your living trust and legally remove the target asset.
3) Pick Your Trustee And Successor Trustee. If you want to personally direct your Florida living trust business, then as grantor or settler you can appoint yourself as the initial Trustee. Make sure to instruct for a successor Trustee who is the person, or institution (like a bank or law firm) who will have the actual job of distributing the assets according to your instructions, and complying with all filing and statutory requirements under Florida State law.
4) You’ve Got To Hire An Estate Planning Attorney – It’s The Law. Reviewing assets, preparing a revocable Florida living trust for inheritance matters, and entering into a legal service contract requires that the preparer be a Florida State bar certified attorney.
5) Getting Your Assets Together. If you don’t fund your trust it doesn’t exist. You must transfer your assets to the trust to receive the benefit of the trust.. Be careful when handling 401K or IRA retirement accounts, in order to ensure that changes to beneficiary designations are handled correctly.
6) Your Florida Living Trust Is Your Estate Planning “Alter Ego”. Think of your living trust as you, your assets and your desires. While you are alive you can change or terminate the trust, but upon your death the trust becomes irrevocable and will be managed as your requested by your successor trustee.
Bottom Line. If you’re looking for privacy, and potentially significant cost and time savings to your heirs, without the imposition of court-ordered probate, then you should look at a Florida living trust.