J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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What are the benefits of a Florida living trust?

Nobody wants to think about or plan for their own death. But, death is inevitable, and like so many other things in life, failing to plan for death leaves too much to chance and can cause difficulties for other people. One of the main topics that people think about when pondering their own death is what will happen with their assets. A little bit of planning now can go a long way to ensure that the decedent's wishes are fulfilled upon their death.

A will is one of the primary ways for a person to enumerate how they want their assets to be distributed upon their death. However, living trusts are another mechanism to achieve this goal. A living trust allows the creator to deposit any or all of their assets in the trust, for distribution upon their death. But, what are the advantages of a living trust?

One of the most enticing benefits of a living trust, unlike a will, is that upon the creator's death, the beneficiaries can get the trust assets without having to go through the probate process that can take months or even years. Another advantage of a trust is that it is not subject to public scrutiny. By contrast, a will does not allow such privacy, meaning that anyone can sift through probate records and see what a decedent left to whom through their will.

The creator of a living will can set it up in such a way so that they have full control of their assets until their death. This means that they are free to transfer assets in and out of the trust without any major difficulties or consequences. Thus, a living trust can be a way for a person, even at a younger age, to ensure that their children or other family members will be taken care of after the trust creator dies. And, the living trust allows the creator to do this without losing control of their assets while they are still alive.

A living trust can be a very valuable component of an estate plan. Anyone in the Polk County area that wants more information about trust administration and other planning topics should contact an experienced attorney.

Source: AARP.org, "10 Things You Should Know About Living Trusts," accessed on March 14, 2015

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