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Trusts Archives

How 529 plans help create estate planning flexibility

For Florida residents, putting money into a 529 education savings plan can be a way to reduce the size of a taxable estate. At the same time, an individual has the power to dictate who the beneficiary of that account will be. Typically, an individual can provide a gift of up to $15,000 in a given year without having to file a tax form. However, individuals can elect to put up to $75,000 in a 529 account at one time without the need to file a tax form.

Why a person might want to create a trust

Florida residents and others might not be comfortable thinking about their own mortality. However, creating a revocable living trust may have several benefits for people today and into the future. For instance, an individual gets to control how the assets inside of the trust are used while he or she is alive. It is even possible to change the trust's terms or revoke it entirely at any time and for almost any reason.

Possible drawbacks of overusing beneficiary designations

Some people in Florida may have retirement accounts and life insurance policies that have beneficiary designations. This is a common way to pass these assets, and it keeps them out of the probate process. However, some people may be encouraged by financial advisers to use similar means to pass other assets as well. Unfortunately, this can have serious repercussions for an estate plan.

Trusts offer options for future flexibility and tax protection

When planning for the future, people in Florida may choose to create a trust to pass on their assets because of the higher level of flexibility, control and privacy that it provides. Trusts can be structured in many different ways, and they can provide funds to multiple generations before the principal funds are distributed, if they are ever distributed individually. When people receive benefits from a trust, they may be unsure how to handle the tax consequences. After all, many people choose to create trusts because of their potential to minimize estate tax consequences for the beneficiaries.

Common estate planning errors to avoid

One of the biggest estate planning error a person can make is not having a will or having one that is from out of state. The latter issue could affect people in Florida if they have moved there from a different state to retire and have not updated their will. Even if the will was made in-state, it needs to be reviewed and potentially updated periodically.

Using a trust for a 529 plan

Many estate owners in Florida have 529 savings accounts that are used to put away money for the education of their children or grandchildren. Some may wonder if they should create a trust to hold such an account.

Reviewing trusts and other estate planning tools under SECURE Act

Strategies and tools that previously worked to protect Florida estates from taxes may be a liability under the new rules of the SECURE Act. In addition to the raising of the estate tax exemption limit to $11.4 million, Congress has changed the rules governing IRA withdrawals. A professional in the field explained the change and how to minimize its effects with the tools of estate planning.

What are spendthrift trusts?

Trusts are a tool many individuals, known as testators, use to protect the value of their assets and for passing money and other valuable items onto their heirs. Most testators set up trusts to ensure that their assets are protected from ending up in the hands of their creditors. There are many different types of trusts. Spendthrift ones are unique in that they keep money safe from both creditors and heirs.

Steps in revoking a revocable trust

A person who has a revocable trust as part of an overall estate plan can revoke that trust at any time. However, the process may not be a simple one. A Florida resident who decides to change an estate plan in this way may want to consult an attorney to ensure that the process is done correctly.

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