Florida is home to many retirees and people getting close to retirement. Though many of these people may already have a will or trust established to ensure that their loved ones will benefit from their hard work, some people do not know where to start. Trusts can be used to give assets to children once they reach a certain age, or they can be held until the death of the trustor, meaning the person who created the trust.
Revocable verses irrevocable living trusts
Living trusts can be a good alternative to standard wills since they allow a designated trustee to take control of the trustor’s property immediately after the trustor passes away without going through probate. A revocable living trust, unlike an irrevocable one, can be changed throughout a trustor’s lifetime or even revoked altogether.
Co-creating a trust
If you and your spouse create a revocable trust together, either one of you can revoke the trust. However, in order to change the trust, both spouses will need to sign off on the change. If spouses are in dispute over what to give to their children, for example, there are ways for spouses to designate which portion of their marital assets belongs to each spouse, and then each spouse can separately decide what to do with his or her portion of the assets.
Changing a revocable trust
Though revocable trusts can be revoked entirely, this is not recommended if the trustor simply wants to make changes to the trust by revoking one and creating another. It is easier and cheaper to prepare a trust amendment. If multiple trust amendments make the trust document unwieldy, an Amendment and Restatement of Declaration of Trust can be used to repeat the original language of the trust while including any changes.
When creating a revocable trust, there are many things to consider, such as whether to create a pour-over will, which allows assets that were not explicitly included in the trust to “pour over” into the trust after death. An estate planning attorney may help walk you through your options for setting up a trust.