When you transfer assets to a trust in Florida, you essentially change ownership from your name to the name of the trust. In other words, the trust becomes the new owner of the assets. This allows the assets to avoid probate and go directly to your beneficiaries after your death.
You can transfer almost any type of asset to a trust, as long as you have the legal right to do so. Some of the most common assets that people transfer to trusts are:
- Real estate:
You can transfer your home, vacation property, rental property, or any other real estate that you own to a trust by signing and recording a deed that changes the ownership from your name to the name of the trust.
You can use a quitclaim deed or a warranty deed for this purpose, depending on whether you want to guarantee the title or not. If you transfer your homestead property to a trust, you can still claim the homestead exemption as long as the trust states that the property will be used as your principal residence.
- Bank accounts:
You can transfer your checking, savings, or money market accounts to a trust by contacting your bank and filling out a form that assigns the ownership of the account to the trust.
You may need to provide a copy of your trust agreement or a certificate of trust as proof of the trust’s existence and terms.
You can transfer your stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other securities to a trust by contacting your broker or financial institution and completing a form that changes the registration of the securities from your name to the name of the trust.
You may also need to provide a copy of your trust agreement or a certificate of trust as proof of the trust’s existence and terms.
- Business interests:
You can transfer your ownership interest in a corporation, partnership, LLC, or sole proprietorship to a trust by signing and filing a document that transfers the interest from your name to the name of the trust.
Depending on the type of business entity and its governing documents, you may need to obtain the consent of other owners or partners before making the transfer.
- Personal property:
You can transfer your tangible personal property, such as furniture, jewelry, art, antiques, or collectibles, to a trust by signing and delivering an assignment of personal property that transfers the ownership from your name to the name of the trust.
You should make an inventory of all the items that you transfer to the trust and keep it with your trust documents. Also, if any of your personal property is insured, you should notify your insurance company and change the policy beneficiary to the trust.
You can transfer your car, boat, motorcycle, or other vehicle to a trust by signing and filing a title application that changes the owner from your name to the name of the trust. You should also notify your insurance company and change the policy beneficiary to the trust.
The Benefits of Transferring Assets to a Trust
Transferring assets to a trust can offer you several benefits, such as:
- Avoiding probate:
Probate is the process of settling your estate after your death. It can be costly, time-consuming, and public. By transferring your assets to a trust, you can avoid probate because the assets are no longer part of your estate; they are owned by the trust, and they will be distributed by the trustee according to your instructions.
- Maintaining privacy:
Unlike probate records, which are open to public inspection, trust documents are generally confidential and only accessible by the trustee and beneficiaries. By transferring your assets to a trust, you can keep your financial affairs and personal wishes private from prying eyes.
- Setting clear instructions:
A trust allows you to specify how, when, and to whom you want your assets distributed after your death. You can also include conditions or restrictions on the use of your assets by your beneficiaries, such as requiring them to reach a certain age or achieve a certain goal before receiving their inheritance.
In addition, a trust allows you to name alternate beneficiaries in case your primary beneficiaries predecease you or disclaim their inheritance.
- Providing for minor children or individuals with special needs:
A trust allows you to provide for minor children or individuals with special needs without subjecting them to court supervision or guardianship. You can appoint a trustee who will manage their inheritance for their benefit until they are ready or able to handle it themselves.
You can also create a special needs trust that will preserve their eligibility for government benefits while providing for their supplemental needs.
- Protecting assets from potential creditors:
A trust can offer some protection for your assets from potential creditors, depending on the type of trust and the timing of the transfer. Generally, assets transferred to an irrevocable trust are not subject to the claims of your creditors, as long as you did not transfer them with the intent to defraud or hinder them.
However, assets transferred to a revocable trust are still considered part of your estate and subject to the claims of your creditors, both during your lifetime and after your death.
Looking to Transfer Assets to a Trust in Florida? We Can Help You
If you are interested in creating a trust in Florida and transferring your assets to it, you need the guidance and assistance of qualified and experienced estate planning attorneys. At Jurado & Associates, P.A., we have the knowledge and skills to help you design and implement a trust that meets your goals and needs.
- Explain the pros and cons of the different types of trusts available,
- Advise you on how to transfer your assets to the trusts you choose to create, and
- Assist you with any updates or changes that may be necessary over time.
We will also ensure that your trust is coordinated with your other estate planning documents.