Trusts have allowed many people in Florida to develop new ways of handling their estate planning. They can provide some benefits during an estate owner's lifetime as well as create a flexible framework for the distribution of assets after death. For wealthier individuals, trusts have become a standard to manage passing assets from generation to generation. They can be used to create legacies that pass on over multiple generations or to set up a framework to pursue charitable giving or philanthropy. In addition, unlike wills, which go through the probate process, trusts are not public documents. This means that trust creators have a higher level of privacy about how their assets are distributed.
Trusts have other benefits for people of all financial situations. For example, they can be used to pass wealth to minor children in a specific manner. This could ensure that they will receive their inheritance only once they are able to handle it properly. For families of individuals with special needs, trusts can also be valuable. Special needs trusts allow the creators to pass on wealth without taking away their loved one's eligibility for government programs to support housing, health care or other major needs.
However, having a trust in place does not mean that the estate planner should also not make a will. Many trusts are not properly funded. Even if they are, they may not be fully funded at the time of passing. A pour-over will, which directs assets to the trust after death, can help to ensure that the estate owner's plans for the future stay intact.
Wills, trusts and other estate planning documents can help people realize their visions for the future and provide for their loved ones and close relatives. An estate planning attorney can draft these documents as part of a comprehensive plan for a client's assets.