A trust is a valuable legal tool that permits you to control what happens to your estate in the event of incapacitation or death. One of the main advantages of trusts is the possibility to attain distinct purposes depending on the language used in the trust instrument.
How much does it cost to set up a Florida trust? Keep reading to find out.
What is a Florida Trust? – The Fundamentals
A trust is a fiduciary relationship involving three parties – a trustor, a trustee, and one or multiple beneficiaries. The trustor (also referred to as “settlor”) is the person who creates the trust.
The trustee is responsible for holding nominal ownership of assets on behalf of the trustor for the benefit of the beneficiary. Depending on how the trust is structured, the trustor may designate him or herself as the trustee.
While holding title to the assets held in the trust, the trustee owes a fiduciary duty to the trust and its beneficiaries. Hence, a trustee can act only in the best interest of the beneficiaries listed in the trust instrument.
The trust instrument is the legal document that creates the arrangement and outlines all the trustor’s wishes on how the trust must be administered.
Setting Up a Florida Trust – Understanding the Process
The first step to set up a trust in Florida is to identify the purpose of the legal arrangement. A potential trustor must consult with an experienced attorney to determine the best type of trust to fulfill his or her needs.
Different individuals may have distinct goals regarding their future, the future of their family, and how their property should be distributed, such as:
- Preserve and distribute one’s entire estate to the designated beneficiaries with specific timing requirements (e.g., condition-related distribution, gradual distribution, etc.)
- Preserving and distributing assets only to one’s children from a previous marriage
- Preserving and distributing to multiple children from different marriages or relationships
- Preserving and distributing assets only to one’s adult children while not leaving anything for their spouses
- Reducing taxable estate
- Preserving and distributing one’s estate to charitable causes
- Ensuring the financial and medical safety of one’s minor children in the event of a parent’s death or incapacitation
- Ensuring minor children will continue to enjoy their lifestyle upon the parent’s death and have access to good education
- Avoiding court intervention in the event of incapacitation
- Avoiding court-supervised probate and ensuring a seamless distribution of one’s estate upon death
- Protecting residential property while preserving its homestead status
If properly drafted and executed, a Florida trust can help you accomplish different goals in estate planning, tax deduction, and asset protection.
How Much Does it Cost to Set Up a Trust in Florida? – The Verdict
A standard Florida trust may cost between $1,500 and $2,500, depending on whether the trust is an individualized legal tool to fulfill a specific purpose or part of an estate planning strategy.
Please note that trying to find the least expensive attorney is not the ideal approach, as the priority must be the scope of legal services provided by your legal counselor in Florida.