A trust is a unique way to pass along your property in a more controlled fashion. Once it is established, you may feel secure that your funds are to be distributed according to your wishes.
If you have questions about how to create or administer a trust, a Stuart trust lawyer can be a knowledgeable advocate for you. By retaining a seasoned trusts & estates attorney, you can have an advocate on your side throughout this process, which can be full of pitfalls for the unwary.
A trust is memorialized by a written document that contains the terms of the trust. The person making the trust is typically referred to as the settlor or grantor.
The people who are receiving—or who may eventually receive—the monies or assets in the trust are referred to as the beneficiaries, while the person responsible for overseeing and executing upon the terms of the trust is known as the trustee. In some cases, the settlor may also be the trustee, or one may be appointed by the grantor or a court.
A trustee has fiduciary duties to their beneficiaries. With some trusts, the trustee might invest the funds and distribute them as they see fit, but other trusts may have specific directions from the settlor. A Stuart trusts attorney may be a helpful guide when choosing the appropriate type of trust for the circumstances.
There are many kinds of trusts, not all of which go into effect immediately after the death of the grantor. Some are administered while the settlor is still alive for their benefit or for the care of beneficiaries.
With an intervivos—or living—trust, the grantor typically transfers funds during their lifetime. The trustee holds the legal right to invest and distribute the funds as instructed, and the beneficiaries receive the monies either during the settlor’s life or after they pass away. Importantly, a living trust can be revoked during the grantor’s lifetime under certain circumstances.
An owner of the property may also create a trust via a will. In this instance, the terms of the trust would be contained within the language of the will, and the trust may be established upon the death of the settlor.
Charitable trusts in Stuart are governed by Florida Statutes §§736.1201 through 736.1211. As the name suggests, these trusts must have a charitable purpose.
If the terms of a charitable trust fail to name a beneficiary or a specific purpose, a court in Stuart may select a charity that appears to fulfill the intentions of the settlor, as per Fla. Stat. §736.0405. A seasoned trusts lawyer in Stuart may have experience with charitable trusts that could be of assistance to someone seeking to form one.
Trustees may be appointed by the court or named by the settlor. They have duties of loyalty and due care toward the funds in the trust and the beneficiaries.
Per Fla. Stat. §736.0706, the settlor, a co-trustee, or a beneficiary may petition the court to remove a trustee. Valid reasons for removal of the trustee include self-dealing and lack of fitness to effectively administer the trust.
If you want to create a trust that takes effect either during your life or after your death, a skilled attorney might be able to direct you toward an appropriate type of arrangement. Make an appointment to speak with a Stuart trusts lawyer about your goals and desires for distributing your property.