Trusts & Probate Avoidance
Focusing on your life & Needs
What Revocable Trusts Do
Trusts are not for everyone. That is why a “cookie-cutter” approach won’t work when it comes to protecting your hard-earned money, your family and your business assets. At Law Office of Lori Vella we focus on creating a plan for you. Our plans can be as unique as your life.
Many people choose trusts to keep their families out of Court and out of conflict, in the event of your death or incapacity. A Trust is usually the best way to ensure assets will be transferred to your heirs with the most ease and convenience possible with no court involvement.
helping you navigate towards your best solution
A trust is not only a tool for the wealthy. They are also helpful in subsequent marriages when there are also children from the first marriage. They can effectively distribute an inheritance to a minor, or even a young adult.
Why a Trust?
You have likely heard a lot about Revocable Trusts. Often, our clients come in and tell us their neighbors told them to get a Revocable Trust. Their next question is, what is it? This illustrates that although the term “trust” is used quite frequently, many still do not understand how and why they are used.
Trusts have become very popular through the years. They are not the solution for everyone, however, despite what your neighbor may say! Many factors should be considered as we “plan” what to do with your “estate” (now do you understand the term “estate planning?”).
Many people choose trusts to keep their families out of Court and out of conflict, in the event of your death or incapacity. A Trust is usually the best way to ensure assets will be transferred to your heirs with the most ease and convenience possible with no court involvement. With a trust, you have the opportunity to create a legacy.
"We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will."
Choosing Successor Trustees & Beneficiaries
Learn the Trust Roles
A person making a revocable trust decides how their assets will be used when they are living and also how they will be distributed when they are deceased. When you fund the trust, you transfer title of your assets into the name of the trust. Real estate is deeded into the name of the trust. Personal property that does not have a title is transferred into the name of the trust by assignment or a bill of sale.
A trust is a written document where the owner of the property transfers legal title to the Trustee (starts out as owner, then moves to a successor)
The Trust is held for the benefit of, at first the Grantor, and then the beneficiaries.
We add a Trust Protector that can make changes to the Trust if necessary.
Benefits During and After Life
What a Trust can do
Benefits of a Trust During Your Life
- Continuity of management throughout life. Trusts can last a really long time with freedom to amend the trust. This is a major benefit.
- Self-protection. Trusts help your loved ones take control to protect you as the funds are already in the trust. Thus, you can better avoid exploitation.
- Avoid guardianship (The guardianship process is very messy and presents a huge headache!). It involves court check-ins but, most importantly, it removes the rights of the individual. That is a scary situation.
Benefits of a Trust After Your Death
- Avoid probate. Keep in mind that probate is the court’s way of making sure someone’s wishes are honored and debts paid. Probate is more expensive than trust administration.
- Avoid ancillary probates if have real property in other states. Otherwise, you are duplicating the time and expense of probate, in every state where you have property!
- Convenience and assurance of gifting according to your plan.
- Privacy and control (unless being litigated). With probate, interested persons have broad rights to step into that action. With trusts, if someone is unhappy, they have to initiate a civil suit and prove they have a right to step in. There is no longer that open door. This can be a very strong deterrent for a somewhat difficult beneficiary.
- Reduce or avoid taxes.
- Provide for special or supplemental needs. There may also be special/supplemental needs concerns. Unfortunately, siblings may not take care of your kids the way the parents would. It is important to set things up properly for your special needs child.
- Reduce probability of litigation.
We guide you every step of the way.
One attractive component of a Trust is that you will have “controlled gifting” to certain beneficiaries. For example, when it comes to minors, most of us can agree that no minor should get cash in hand the day they turn 18. If children are named as beneficiaries on a life insurance policy, for example, then it is for the court to address.
Creating Plans for Your Lives
Things to Consider:
Choosing an estate plan involves deciding whether your family falls in the “simple” vs. “complex” arena. While many want to believe they have simple estates that do not need much time to draft, keep in mind that many things add to complexities such as: blended families, special needs, minor kids, family dynamics, multiple properties, business ownership, and detailed distributions to certain individuals. Complex doesn’t mean too difficult. It just needs that we need to put care and attention into your plan while sticking to your budget.
Issues that may arise in choosing estate plans:
Disclaimer: The Law Office of Lori Vella’s website contains general information directed to Florida residents. This firm does not intend to give legal advice through its pages and/or blog. If you need legal advice, we encourage you to find an attorney licensed in your state. This language on this website website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and this firm. Review our legal disclaimer page.