J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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Attorney and CPA

Trust administration could have helped lottery winner

Financial matters can be complicated for many Florida residents who do not have experience with investments, financial planning and tax laws. There are many different ways that people can protect and build their wealth, however, to ensure that it lasts for the future. Trust administration is one way people can preserve current financial stability while also resolving their affairs to prevent conflict after their deaths.

A woman who won the Ontario lottery almost nine years ago has now used up almost all of the $10.5 million she won. Without the help of a financial advisor to help her understand how to invest, save and protect her winnings, she quickly spent large sums of money buying homes, cars, and expensive possessions and lending significant amounts of money to family and friends. Fortunately, the woman had the foresight to divide the money among her family immediately upon winning it and her children's share is still safely waiting in a trust for them until they turn 26.

Many people may be unfamiliar with trusts as a financial planning tool, but creating a trust can allow Florida residents to manage their wealth and property while still alive or form a trust by a will after a person's death. Assets, money and property placed in a trust are protected because they become the property of the trust, governed by the specific rules and instructions contained in the trust contract. Placing money in a trust can help protect it from unwise spending by a beneficiary, prevent probate upon a decedent's death, and protect assets from creditors, among other benefits.

When deciding to create a trust to provide for the distribution of assets, it can be important to speak with an attorney experienced in such matters to determine primary goals and motivations in setting up the trust. There are many different kinds of trust that each serve different purposes-some are designed to protect assets from excessive taxation while others are intended to help with property division or charitable donations, for example. Trust administration can be complex, but with the help of a qualified attorney, it can be a valuable way to protect assets.

Source: TheStar.com, "Hamilton lottery winner fritters away $10 million," Molly Hayes, March 21, 2013

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