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The role of revocable trusts in estate planning

When it comes time to begin the estate planning process in Florida, there are many options to consider. A will, power of attorney and medical directives are just some of the common instruments that may be part of a comprehensive estate plan. Another possibility is what’s termed a revocable trust, which allows the person who creates the trust (grantor) to alter or cancel provisions.

Revocable trusts live on indefinitely following the grantor’s death, at which point they become irrevocable. However, successor trustees and designated beneficiaries can be named in advance. One of the biggest benefits associated with a revocable trust is the ability to avoid probate. By avoiding probate, the grantor can add significant savings for surviving family members. Probate makes an estate’s details public record, so a revocable trust can also eliminate this necessity and maintain privacy for a family.

The fact that a trust holds a property’s title can prevent the need for probate issues if property is owned in multiple states. With the right wording included to preserve possible tax benefits, assets from a will, life insurance policies, pensions, IRAs, and even other trusts can be incorporated into a revocable trust as well. This type of trust can also be used to distribute charitable gifts, solve tricky distribution problems associated with blending families and provide creditor protection for subsequent generations named in the trust.

While a revocable trust doesn’t provide asset protection during a grantor’s lifetime, future generations could enjoy much-appreciated protections and benefits. If a grantor has concerns about one child’s ability to manage assets, a lawyer can add special provisions that dictate how distributions will be handled. In some situations, multiple trusts can be created to address unique needs or goals.



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