Florida Trust Planning Attorney Helps Clients Secure Their Future

Knowledgeable assistance in Sarasota and Osprey, Florida 

When planning for your financial future into retirement and beyond, there are two goals to keep in mind: security and simplicity. You want the wealth you’ve worked so hard to accrue to be safe from outside forces that can inflict losses, and you want to manage and ultimately transfer that wealth with as little hassle as possible. At Teresa K. Bowman, P.A., I am a Florida trust planning attorney who helps clients craft unique estate plans that employ trusts as safeguards for wealth and for quick, easy bequests to their beneficiaries. 

What are trusts used for and how do they work?

A trust is a legal entity, similar to a corporation, that you create to serve as the legal owner of the assets you transfer into it. Placing assets in a trust offers several potential advantages, such as privacy for the transfer of property upon one’s death and control over how funds are used. For all these reasons and more, you should speak to an estates lawyer about adding trusts to your estate plan.

Why avoid probate in Florida?                              

Probate is the process of legally shifting a decedent’s assets to the heirs named in the will when the assets do not pass via a death certification or trust. Probate is a public process supervised by the court, and it could be lengthy if the estate is large or if the decedent has neglected accounting for several years. You and your loved ones might prefer the privacy of shifting assets through the administration of a trust you’ve established and funded during your lifetime. Assets would need to be a part of the trust prior to death to avoid probate. If not, probate would be required to move property in a pour-over will to the trust. 

Types of trusts for estate planning

The State of Florida recognizes a wide range of trusts, such as:

  • Revocable trusts — Trusts which a grantor can modify or dissolve at any time. These provide the least amount of asset protection.
  • Irrevocable trusts — Trusts which, once established, cannot be modified or dissolved without the approval of a trustee and the beneficiaries. These provide the greatest asset protection.  However, the grantor gives up control of the assets when the trust is funded. Irrevocable trusts are used mainly for asset preservation or special needs planning.
  • Asset protection trust — An irrevocable trust designed to safeguard wealth for retirement and as part of a long-term care plan. These trusts can help establish Medicaid eligibility for nursing home stays after the 5-year lookback passes
  • Special needs trusts — These trusts provide support for a disabled individual while maintaining eligibility for government benefits.

Trusts are flexible instruments, so I can design a program that meets your specific needs.

Choosing a trustee for your trust              

A trustee is a fiduciary who oversees the funds in the trust and makes disbursements according to the entity’s terms. For many reasons, you want an experienced professional administering your trust. In my practice, I provide comprehensive, reliable trustee services.                                             

Contact a knowledgeable Florida estates lawyer for trust planning 

Teresa K. Bowman, P.A. helps clients in Sarasota and Osprey establish trusts for a variety of purposes. Please call 941-735-0811 or contact my office online to schedule an appointment.