For most people, the words, “trust fund,” conjure up images of wealthy young college students on a golf course, or that new Bentley rolling into the nearest country club. As a wills and trust attorney in Florida, however, I’m here to tell you that you are all trust-worthy…
No matter how much money we’re worth.
Because a trust is nothing more than a vehicle used to transfer assets, many families opt to set up a trust to ensure that if something should happen to them while their children are still minors, assets will be appropriately distributed and allotted. According to a recent article at The Motley Fool, Trust Funds: They're Not Just for the Rich, and You Might Need One, trusts are especially useful for parents of minor children as well as those who wish to spare their beneficiaries the hassle of going to Court in the event of their incapacity or death.
Why would you want to avoid the court process, also known as Probate, in this case?
Well, maybe your assets are better left private – not a matter of public record. Perhaps your heirs, as lucky as they are to be receiving any inheritance, are not yet at the age where it is appropriate to share this kind of information with. When a trust is involved, however, you can rest assured that your matters will not be publicized. A trust is a private document and distributes assets upon your death without the need for probate.
Another downside to probate? The court process can take longer than is necessary and keep your family from getting access to your assets as quickly as they want or need them.
So, how does creating a trust for your family work?
With Grimaldi Law Firm, we’ll walk you through the entire process and ensure that all of your questions will be answered. We are, after all, gearing up to take care of your most precious assets of all – your family!
If you have minor children, you need to create a trust in order to leave your assets to them since minors cannot inherit directly. You will want to name a trustee to manage those assets for your children. Even if your children are adults, a trust can help protect assets you leave for them from creditors, legal judgments, divorce or even their poor money management habits.
In addition to this, you can even establish a trust for yourself. This would serve you well in the event you become incapacitated and cannot manage your own finances at some future time. Upon your incapacity, the trust assets are managed by a successor trustee, which avoids the need for a court-appointed conservator if you become incapacitated.
Trusts are also wonderful tools for those who are members of a blended family, the kind of family where a second marriage brings together children and inheritors from a previous marriage. If you are remarried and have children from a previous marriage, you can provide for your current spouse while ensuring your assets pass to your children from another marriage using a by-pass trust. With this kind of trust, the assets will pass to your children free of estate tax upon the death of your surviving spouse.
I’m sure, by now, it’s abundantly clear why a trust is necessary no matter your financial standing. You can learn more about how a trust might benefit you and your family by calling Grimaldi Law Firm to schedule a Family Wealth Planning Session, where we can identify the best strategies for you and your family.
At Grimaldi Law Firm, your present is our future.
We can be reached at (954) 491-8707
Special Note: The information on this blog is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s legal questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual legal concerns. If you have a legal question about your individual facts and circumstances, you should consult an experienced real estate attorney. Your receipt of information from this website or blog does not create an attorney-client relationship and the legal privileges inherent therein.