Trust Attorney in St. Petersburg
In many years as a St. Petersburg Trust attorney, we have noticed that the concept of an estate planning Trust is very misunderstood by the general public. The key thing to remember about a Trust is that it allows you to transfer your assets into the legal name of another entity, albeit fictitious, the Trust. As such, you no longer own the assets in your own name, but in the name of the Trust, which, among other potential benefits, means the Trust assets can typically pass to your beneficiaries without having to go through the court process called “probate” when you die.
There are many types of Trusts. The ones most often used for typical Estate Planning are the Living Trust (which is also referred to as a Revocable Trust, and even Revocable Living Trust), and Testamentary Trusts. Either of these may turn out to be beneficial to you in establishing a Trust. As part of the Trust planning, a Trust attorney will ask many questions about your family and financial circumstances, goals, wishes, and desires. This is all part of what is involved in creating a Trust, and why you should be sure to hire an experienced Trust lawyer to assist you.
The key difference between a Living Trust and a Testamentary Trust is that a Living Trust is fully set up and exists while you are alive.
Difference Between a Living Trust and a Testamentary Trust
The key difference between a Living Trust and a Testamentary Trust is that a Living Trust is fully set up and exists while you are alive. You essentially transfer your assets into the Living Trust during your lifetime, during which time you can also cancel (or revoke) or amend the Trust, which is why it’s called “revocable”. On your death the Trust typically becomes irrevocable. Transferring the assets into the Trust while you are alive is intended to keep your Trust assets from having to go through probate in order to be transferred to your ultimate beneficiaries after you die. With a Testamentary Trust, it is considered a “springing trust”. This basically means you set up the Trust document while you are alive, but you don’t actually transfer any assets into it. When you die, the Trust “springs into action”. The assets get transferred into the Trust after your death and are distributed according to the terms of the Trust. The benefits of a Testamentary Trust are the lower cost and easy setup, as well as the lack of time and expense needed to maintain it during your lifetime.
Unfortunately, a Testamentary Trust may require some form of probate in order to transfer the assets into the Trust when you die, which is often an argument against it. However, Testamentary Trusts can prove very useful in preventing assets from being transferred in full, all at once, to a beneficiary who you may feel is too young or immature to handle being left a large amount of money, although either of these, or several other forms of legal Trusts can be used to address that potential situation.
We have handled estate planning Trusts for many years in St. Petersburg, and have the experience and resources available to properly address your estate planning needs.
An estate planning Trust can be very complicated. The right questions have to be asked of you by a Living Trust attorney in order to effectively handle your estate planning. We have handled estate planning Trusts for many years in St. Petersburg and have the experience and resources available to properly address your estate planning needs. 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.
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.