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Why is it Important for a Trust to Be in Place?
An estate plan is used for achieving various goals, including, but not limited to:
- Designating a person or entity as your proxy in managing your estate upon your death.
- Appointing a legal guardian for minor children.
- Detailing the specific types of care, you want to receive if you become incapacitated or sick.
- Transferring property to chosen individuals or entities in the fastest and tax-efficient manner.
- Managing tax exposure.
Our Tampa estate planning lawyer can guide you through the estate planning process and figure out all the documents you need to fit your goals. These documents include a will, durable power of attorney, healthcare proxy or living will, and a trust. Everyone will require a will, but not everyone will need a trust.
Do I Need to Have a Trust?
There are various kinds of trusts, and each comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. In general, you might benefit from having a trust in place if any of the following applies to your estate planning goals:
- Ensure your beneficiaries are protected: If you have an irrevocable trust, future claimants or creditors can’t come after assets held in your trust. It can also safeguard a minor child’s best interests by setting rules regarding distributions.
- Avoid probate: It could take months or years to complete the probate process. It can also be extremely costly. Depending on your situation, court and legal fees can take up a substantial percentage of the estate’s value.
- Preserve your privacy: Your estate plan and related confidential information will become public record when your estate goes through probate. A trust will preserve your confidentiality and privacy because it can only be seen by the people involved, which are your beneficiaries and trustees.
- Make sure that loved ones with special needs are protected: A trust can specify provisions for the personal or health care requirements of adults or minor children with special needs.
- Boost flexibility: Since you can dictate all your terms or preferences in a trust, you can specify exactly how your assets should be managed. For instance, if you’re worried that one of your beneficiaries is not capable of managing assets wisely, you can restrict how the assets must be used and designate a trustee to help the beneficiary with managing their assets.
- Protect your wealth: Divorces and remarriages can and often happen. Having a trust will make sure that your estate is intact for your grandchildren, their children, etc.
- Prevent family conflict and drama: Unlike wills, challenging trusts is expensive and very difficult. When you have a trust that clearly details what you want to do with your assets and who they should pass to, you can prevent your heirs and beneficiaries from challenging the terms of your trust.
Get Legal Guidance From an Experienced Tampa Estate Planning Attorney
Need help with estate planning? Our Tampa estate planning attorney at Mickey Keenan, PA, can assess your situation and determine exactly what you need in your estate plan. To arrange your consultation with our Tampa estate planning attorney, please complete our online form or call us at 813-871-1300.