If you are just getting involved with the estate planning process, then you might have come across the term “irrevocable trust” here and there. You have also likely heard that it’s often in the best interests of your beneficiaries to avoid probate. Probate is the legal process in the Florida courts where the property left behind after a person passes away is distributed to others.
In complex probate cases, or issues where there is confusion or disagreement about what was intended, you may need the insight of a Boynton Beach probate and trust attorney.
Visit here to read more about working with a Boynton Beach probate and trust attorney.
If There’s a Will, There MIGHT Be a Way…
If you or a family member leaves a will behind, then in most cases your property will be distributed according to your will, so long as that document is valid. If you have no will or if yours is determined to be invalid, however, the state has the opportunity to determine what happens to your property.
Probate can be an expensive and lengthy process, which is why so many people aim to avoid it by using tools like trusts.
How Trusts Work
In a trust, a grantor gives assets or money to a trustee to hold for distribution at a later time. This is essentially a gift designated for other people, to be distributed at the hands of the third party appointed as the trustee. You have a lot of flexibility in determining what kind of trust you set up, and this is something you can discuss with an estate planning attorney.
In most situations, you’ll need to consider the following factors to determine whether a trust makes sense and if so, what kind:
- The amount of assets and type in the trust
- Which individuals will receive assets from the trust
- What the trust money should be used for
- Over what duration and/or frequency assets from the trust should be distributed
- When the trust distribution will start
Since assets put into a trust are already committed, they are not part of the probate process. This is one of the biggest reasons that people consider using a trust in the first place.
Learn more about trusts in Florida here.
Revocable or Irrevocable?
As the names of these trusts suggest, you have the option to choose a trust that you can change down the line or one that will remain the same as soon as it is active. If your trust is revocable, you can withdraw it or alter it any time that you wish. The same cannot be said of an irrevocable trust. Once it has been created, it cannot be terminated without the permission of the beneficiaries.
Do Estate Taxes Apply?
Bear in mind that assets put into a revocable trust could be subject to estate taxes. This is not true of assets in an irrevocable living trust. When an individual passes away, estate taxes could apply for the amount of remaining assets to be distributed to others.
Irrevocable trust assets are exempted and therefore not taxable, since the deceased person already gave up his or her ownership over those assets. Additionally, both of these kinds of trusts could be subject to income taxes, and you should consult with an experienced attorney and tax advisor to learn more about how this could influence your beneficiaries.
Working with a Boynton Beach Probate and Trust Attorney Can Help More Than You Might Think…
Determining that an irrevocable trust is right for you because of the tax implications and the fact that it keeps those assets out of probate is a decision that requires the insight of an experienced Florida attorney.
If you are a beneficiary or an estate administrator concerned about an existing estate or trust, or if you believe there are issues regarding a trust that has already been created, then a Boynton Beach probate and trust attorney can help to not only answer your questions but to also make sure your family’s rights are protected through the probate process.
Visit here to learn more about how a Boynton Beach probate and trust attorney can help.