Essentially, recording or filing a trust would negate the confidentiality aspect of the arrangement, which is one of the major benefits for all parties involved in the trust agreement. In this article, you will find out whether a Florida trust must be filed with the court.
Creating a Florida Trust – The Basics
When someone creates a trust, he/she is transferring the nominal ownership of assets to a third party (trustee) for the benefit of the individuals designated as beneficiaries.
Upon the death of the trust creator (referred to as trustor or grantor), the trustee will distribute the assets held in the trust without the need of a court-supervised administration, thus avoiding probate.
Depending on the trustor’s purpose, it is possible to create a revocable trust or an irrevocable trust.
In a revocable trust, the trustor has the power to change, amend, or even terminate the trust during his/her lifetime. Also, a revocable trust permits the trustor to name him or herself as the trustee of the trust, designating a third party to serve as successor trustee.
Therefore, up until the trustor’s death, he or she remains in control of the assets held in the revocable trust while no longer having nominal ownership of the trust property.
Contrastingly, an irrevocable trust has stricter terms, as the trustor may not change, amend, nor terminate the trust agreement upon signing it into existence.
Typically, this type of trust is for specific purposes, such as reducing the taxable estate of wealthy individuals, serving charitable causes, or protecting loved ones who receive Medicaid and other similar benefits.
Does a Trust Have to be Filed with the Court in Florida? – The Verdict
No trust needs to be filed, registered, or recorded in Florida – neither with the court nor anyone else. Florida law protects the confidentiality of trusts, requiring no recording, filing, or registering involved in the document’s creation.
Nowadays, it is almost impossible to avoid having one’s privacy invaded. Therefore, keeping anything private and out of the public domain (including documents) is a valuable advantage.
For example, Florida land trusts may be used to convey the ownership of real estate without revealing the identity of the trustor and the beneficiary involved in the agreement, as only the trustee’s identity is public.
Does a Trust Have to be Filed with the Court in Florida? – Trusts vs Wills
Despite the fact Florida trusts have the same execution requirements as wills, they do not need to be filed with the court. While a will must be filed with the Clerk of Court within ten days of the testator’s death, a well-designed trust will not need to go through any public procedure upon the trustor’s passing in Florida.
Does a Trust Have to be Filed with the Court in Florida? – Possible Exceptions
It is hard to think of an exception in which trust should be filed with a Florida court. Typically, only cases involving “truncated” real estate transactions – although not even these cases might require a trustor to record the trust as a whole.
Depending on the case, transactions involving Florida real property may require trust owners to file a Certification of Trust, which will not expose any sensitive trust information.
Florida Trust Asset Protection – Immediately Contact Your Florida Probate Lawyer Today
Structuring a proper Florida trust requires a strategic approach. Immediately contact Attorneys Romy B. Jurado and Diana C. Collazos by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] for an individual assessment.