Trusts in Florida
AT&T, Sprint & T-Mobile Users Can Dial: **TRUSTS
The essence of a trust is the clear separation of title between the trustee and the beneficiaries.
The trustee holds legal title to property of the trust.
The beneficiaries hold equitable title to the trust.
Our Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton Trust lawyers can set trusts designed to help your family avoid probate, care for a loved one after your death (even pets), or protect your assets from creditors.
Trusts May Be Revocable or Irrevocable.
A revocable living trust is the type of trust commonly utilized when estate planning. The revocable living trust’s primary purpose is to save your family the expense and hassle of probate after your death. However, creditors can commonly reach assets in a revocable living trust.
An irrevocable living trust is commonly the type crafted to avoid probate and protect assets. In an irrevocable trust you can not control the assets in the trust and cannot revoke the trust. As a result, the assets of the trust will generally not be considered yours despite the fact that you retain equitable title as a beneficiary. In this case, because the money is not considered yours (it is solely the trusts) the asset will likely not be available to creditors.
A testamentary trust can’t avoid probate because the property to be transferred into it remains in the decedent’s name at the time of his death.
Under the Florida Trust Code a valid trust requires the following:
- A Settlor. The settlor is the person who grants the property to the trust for the benefit of the beneficiaries. A settlor is also referred to as a trustor, grantor or donor. The settlor must be at least 18 years of age.
- The settlor must have capacity, as defined by Florida Will standards meaning sound mind, able to understand who, what, and have “present intent” of mind.
- Present Intent to create a trust. The settlor must have an intent to create the trust manifested at the time of creation of the trust together or contemporaneously.
- A Res, meaning the trust property. The property must exist at the time of creation of the trust. The property must be identifiable meaning the trust uses descriptions capable of leading a reasonable person to reasonable assurance of the property in question. Property may not be “Mere Expectation.” However property may be tangible, intangible, real Estate or testamentary.
- Delivery of the Res to a Trustee: Delivery of the res to the trustee must occur under proper and correct conveyance. Proper delivery includes full Will formalities in testamentary trusts and deed conveyance in real estate.
- Trustee: A trustee appointed must accept the job as trustee. Trustee must be 18 years old or older, have the capacity to enter into contract. However, a trust will not fail for lack of a trustee. The court will appoint a trustee if necessary.
- Beneficiaries must be specific and identifiable. In the case of the intent to create a charitable trust, if actual persons are named as beneficiaries then the trust may not be a charitable trust.
- The Trust Must Have a Valid Purpose. The valid purpose must not be illegal, contrary to public policy, impossible to achieve, or intended to defraud.
- Clear and Convincing Evidence or a Writing When Required. When a trust utilizes real Property or Testamentary Intent to create the res, there is a need and requirement for the trust to be in writing. However, trusts with neither real property or testamentary intent can be created orally if the creation of the trust is supported by Clear and Convincing Evidence. However, no reasonable person should rely upon oral recitations to create a trust when clear and convincing evidence can be achieved rather simply by memorializing the trust in writing.
A trust is presumed revocable unless stated otherwise.
Our Palm Beach, Miami Dade and Broward Trust Attorneys work hard to protect the assets of families through the creation of living trusts, testamentary trusts, irrevocable trusts and charitable trusts.
Our Florida Trust Lawyers can create your trust, act as trustee, challenge trusts and work hard to settle disputes and challenges to the trust quickly and painlessly. Where counter parties are unwilling to negotiate we litigate zealously to protect the trust, trustee, and defend the rights of the beneficiaries.
No one is served through expensive and protracted litigation which may delay beneficiaries from support and deplete trust assets.
We can help today and tomorrow.
Our Florida Trust Lawyers can advise you on the creation and administration of a Florida revocable living trust, Florida irrevocable trust, Florida charitable trust or Florida testamentary trusts in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami Dade County.
Most importantly, and unknown to even savvy business people, property held in Florida revocable trusts and Florida irrevocable trusts avoids probate, passing the assets of the trust directly to beneficiaries.
Transfers of these types avoid probate. They are often referred to as non-probate transfers.
There are ways to avoid and minimize probate. Our Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Probate Attorneys can show you how.
Do you like our straight forward, and easy to understand explanations of complex legal concepts?
We’re changing the way people think about lawyers.
We understand the emotion difficulty, and stress of prolonged and expensive probate because we’re people.
We also happen to be Florida Trust Attorneys.
We can help.
Our Florida Trust Lawyers serve clients in Palm Beach County, Broward County, Miami Dade County, and most other Florida cities and counties.
We handle probate challenges and defenses. We defend against creditors making claims to probate and negotiate with probate creditors that have legitimate well documented claims. We handle probate transfers of property quickly and correctly.
We want to hear your story, and share ours.