St. Petersburg Testamentary Trust Lawyer

A Testamentary Trust is one that goes into effect on death. Testamentary basically means something that occurs after death. This can be contrasted with a “Living” Trust, which, of course, means it occurs during life. A Testamentary Trust can be a very useful tool in the arsenal of an experienced estate planning lawyer.  

Particularly in Florida, where we have the simplified and relatively inexpensive form of probate called “Summary Administration”, many people do not necessarily have any pressing need to keep assets out of probate, but may have other reasons for placing some limitations or restrictions on some or all of the assets they will pass upon their death. Often, there is a need to keep large sums of money out of the hands of a beneficiary who lacks good financial sense, or is deemed too immature, while ensuring that the money or assets last over the long term. Sometimes a beneficiary has liens or judgments against them that could place any assets they would receive at substantial risk from creditors. A Testamentary Trust, if properly set up, could provide substantial protection of the estate assets while allowing some of the assets to be used for the health, education, and support of the beneficiary. And, similar to a Revocable Living Trust, the terms of the Testamentary Trust are irrevocable upon the Grantor’s death.

Benefits of a Testamentary Trust

A few of the benefits of a Testamentary Trust are:

  1. The Trust itself is typically contained within a Last Will and Testament, so no separate, long and complicated Trust document is usually required.
  2. Substantially lower costs to prepare the Testamentary Trust vs. a Living Trust, and there are no additional carrying costs during the Grantor’s lifetime.
  3. There are no asset transfer costs during the Grantor’s lifetime, as assets are transferred to the Trust after the Grantor’s death.

Of course, one of the major drawbacks is that probate will often be required to transfer assets into the Trust after the Grantor’s death, although it may be possible to leave certain assets, such as bank and financial accounts, as well as life insurance directly to the Trust and avoid the necessity of probate on those assets. 

A Testamentary Trust may be the correct mechanism for your estate planning, but it may not. This is something that an experienced Testamentary Trust lawyer would be best able to determine through careful estate planning consultation with you. We are a St. Petersburg estate planning and Testamentary Trust attorney who could assist you with your Testamentary Trust and other planning. We always offer a free ½ hour initial in office estate planning consultation. Our goal at David P. Folkenflik, P.A. is to provide you with friendly, prompt, and competent legal services at an affordable cost. Click here to schedule a consultation. 

The information contained herein does not constitute legal advice as that can only be given by a direct consultation with the attorney after having reviewed your entire matter and relevant documentation. Actual terms and conditions of representation will be contained in the Representation Agreement.