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Can a trust help you avoid probate?

| Jun 8, 2018 | probate |

For many Florida residents, estate planning can be a challenge. For starters, many people are simply unfamiliar with many of the estate planning options available to them, while others put off the task until later, whenever that is. However, for those who realize the importance of crafting a comprehensive estate plan, there are likely to be many questions. One question will likely pertain to the utility of a trust as part of an estate plan – can a trust help you avoid probate?

In short, the answer is yes. However, as with all legal questions, there is usually more to it than a simple, direct answer. In establishing a trust, a person will set aside property or funds and appoint a trustee – the person or entity who will oversee the terms of the trust. In many cases, the trust will be established for the benefit of someone other than the person who creates the trust. Thus, the trustee plays a crucial role in determining how best to implement the terms of the trust.

Trusts that a Florida resident establishes as part of an estate plan can be either revocable or irrevocable. In keeping the trust revocable, the person who establishes the trust obviously retains a certain element of control over the assets in the trust. But, if the trust is irrevocable, the terms of the trust are set.

A basic overview of trusts can be useful for Florida residents who are considering the benefits of a trust as part of an estate plan, but there are so many variations of trusts that those who believe they may want to establish a trust will likely need to get more detailed information about their own unique circumstances.