Florida Trusts: Who is involved and what is the Grantor, Trustee, and Beneficiary?

A valid Florida Living Trust or Florida Revocable Trust includes three typical positions that most individuals can occupy.

Each Trust should have a grantor, trustee and beneficiary at the time the Florida Revocable Trust is created. The grantor, sometimes called the settlor, is the person who originally sets up the trust and usually supplies the initial trust property. A trustee is the manager of the trust, but does not receive any benefits of the trust (as the trustee). The Trustee has a responsibility and duty to take care of the trust assets for the beneficiary. The original beneficiary is typically the grantor, but a trust must also designate a beneficiary who is different than the grantor in the event of the grantor’s death. This beneficiary is also the person who will receive the benefit of the trust and receives the benefits of the trust after the death of the grantor.

Although there are three different positions, one person can serve in more than one capacity. However, there should be some separation of the legal title and equitable title. This can be done by having more than one beneficiary or more than one trustee. Otherwise, the trust purpose of holding property for the benefit of another would be defeated. As long as there are at least two people named in the Florida Trust, a separation of legal and equitable title has occurred.

It is important to know the difference between the three trust positions and how they affect your particular situation. Should you wish to have someone review your Florida Revocable trust documents or create a new trust, contact an Experienced Florida Estate Planning Lawyer and discuss your specific goals and circumstances.

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