Melbourne Trust Law Firm for Planning and Disputes
Trusts are valuable legal tools that help people plan for the future and avoid certain complications and confusion in the event of their death. Trusts give people the power to make their own decisions about where their assets will go and what to do if they become incapacitated, rather than leaving it to judges or loved ones to decide. A Melbourne trust administration lawyer at Lacey Lyons Rezanka will take the time to understand your specific individual situation and goals and explore how you can use trusts and other estate planning tools to meet your needs.
Although the idea behind a trust is straightforward, several complicated legal issues can arise in the estate planning process. It is vital to have an experienced attorney at your side to guide you through the process of creating a trust. A seasoned trust litigation law firm can also help people resolve a wide range of disputes, whether during the execution of a trust or that comes long after a trust is established.
We are regional lawyers who help people throughout Melbourne and across the state plan for the future.
How Can a Trust Help My Florida Estate?
A trust is a legal document that someone creates while they are alive that goes into effect upon their death. It can be created by a trust document or by a will. Assets of an estate are put into the trust, which follows specific rules and instructions. While the trust holds the title to the property and assets. The beneficiary receives the benefits of this trust upon your death.
There are several different types of trusts.
A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, allows the person who creates the trust to alter, change, modify or revoke the trust during their lifetime. These types of trusts are very helpful in avoiding probate, as the ownership of assets is transferred to the trust, making it not subject to probate.
An irrevocable trust is one where not even the trust maker can alter, remove, modify or revoke the trust. This type of trust can be used for large estates, but it may have negative consequences.
A special needs trust is set up for an heir that receives government benefits, ensuring that they do not become disqualified from receiving these benefits due to their inheritance. It is legal, and the Social Security Administration permits these trusts, provided that the disabled heir cannot control the frequency or amount of distributions from the trust, nor can they have the right to revoke the trust. This type of trust is especially helpful, so parents of a disabled child can provide for them after their death. Read more about Special Needs Trust here.
There are a variety of different trusts that our experienced team of trust litigation and administration attorneys can assist with administering and explaining to you, including:
- Asset Protection Trust
- Charitable Trust
- Constructive Trust
- Spendthrift Trust
- Tax By-Pass Trust
- Totten Trust
How Trusts Work in Florida
Trusts are an increasingly popular method of estate planning, in part because of some of the benefits they offer when compared to wills, including flexibility, control, and potential tax benefits.
A trust is generally created when a person signs a legal agreement transferring some or all assets to a trustee, a person or entity appointed to manage the trust. The trustee is authorized to pay certain expenses in the event you become incapacitated. The trust agreement specifies how the assets are to be distributed when you pass away.
Because trusts are often funded with various assets, it can require several steps to transfer those assets. A Melbourne trust administration attorney at our firm can ensure the trust is properly funded and the agreement is drawn up to indicate your wishes for how the assets are to be distributed.
Melbourne Trust Administration Attorneys Can Assist with the Selection of a Trust
Flexibility is one of the major benefits of choosing a trust. A trust can be set up in several different ways to serve a variety of purposes. Another significant advantage in Florida is the trust can be used to avoid or limit probate, the court process through which property is generally distributed when a person passes away with a will in place, and those who pass away without an estate plan.
A trust gives a person more control over how their property is distributed and often avoids the waiting periods involved in probate, not to mention sidestepping any strife among loved ones that can come with having a will contested in court.
Our Melbourne Trust Administration Lawyer Explains Common Types of Trusts in Florida
Lacey Lyons Rezanka can help you consider several different types of trusts. Some of the most common include:
- Revocable trust: Also known as a living trust, is a legal tool that gives the person creating the trust the right to alter it at any time or take back some or all of the assets transferred.
- Irrevocable trust: This type of trust is typically used for managing large estates in certain specific situations. As the name suggests, the trust cannot be altered by the person who creates it or anyone else.
- Testamentary trust: This type of trust is a form of a revocable trust created as part of making a will. The trust does not become active until after your death. It can be used to leave specific assets to certain family members or loved ones.
- Special needs trust: A type of trust designed to distribute assets to a person who receives government benefits, such as disability and other payments, without making them financially ineligible to continue receiving those benefits.
- Asset protection trust: A person who makes a trust can also make themselves a beneficiary of the trust to protect certain assets. Although some states protect the assets in these “self-settled’ trusts from creditors, Florida law generally does not provide such protection.
- Charitable trust: This is a tax-deductible trust designed to benefit charitable organizations. The beneficiary must qualify as a charitable organization under federal law to create the trust to take advantage of the tax deduction.
Trust Disputes May Head to the Courtroom
While trusts take a lot of the guesswork out of planning for the future, disputes over trusts still happen. Disputes commonly stem from challenges over the trust’s legal sufficiency or how assets in the trust are used or distributed.
Trust contests, challenging the legal effectiveness of a trust, typically focus on the circumstances under which the trust was created. A person must be able to mentally understand what they are doing when the trust is valid. If the trust, or specific terms of the trust agreement, results from undue influence on the person making the trust, it is invalid under state law. A trust is also subject to challenge if it resulted from fraud or mistake or if the trust has been effectively revoked.
A Melbourne trust administration lawyer at our firm can help you create a trust and ensure you meet all of the legal requirements. We also assist clients considering challenging a trust or who are already locked in a trust dispute. Our lawyers can explain your rights and weigh your options.
Speak with a Trust Administration Attorney at Our Melbourne or Rockledge Office
Lacey Lyons Rezanka is a full-service Florida estate planning and probate law firm, helping clients in Melbourne and across the state prepare for the future. We combine decades of experience helping people protect their assets and decide how their property will be distributed in the event of their death.