If you are a Florida resident, you may already enjoy some of the tax benefits of living in the state. When it comes to estate planning, however, you may still want to keep an eye on different tools that can help you minimize your tax burden and preserve your eligibility for programs that can assist you in your older years.
Did you know that one of the primary reasons for creating an irrevocable trust is to protect your assets for use by your spouse and eventually your heirs? This can allow you to both secure your most valuable assets and be able to retain eligibility for key public benefits services you may need as you get on in years.
An irrevocable trust can protect and preserve your assets by removing them from your control. When you create an irrevocable trust and fund it with your own money, you are considered the trust grantor. You may need to choose a separate trustee who will control the funds you put into the trust and distribute them according to the trust agreement. This level of protection, which you should discuss with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney, can ensure that the protections you seek to achieve through an irrevocable trust can be reached.
You will also name one or more beneficiaries who can use the money in the trust. Typically, the beneficiaries could include your spouse, children, or grandchildren, or other relatives. It can be important to understand, and discuss with your attorney, that you will no longer have control over the money you put into the irrevocable trust. It will belong to the trust itself. If you change your mind about a beneficiary, there may not be much you can do without specific planning considerations in place.
There is, however, a significant upside to using an irrevocable trust in the context of estate planning. First, when you remove the trust assets from your control, you can make yourself judgment proof. Second, you are creating an estate planning vehicle to deliver significant wealth to your loved ones as well as creating a legacy for the future. Third, you remain eligible to receive public benefits services, should you need them in the future.
While there is a myriad of different trusts – each one designed to fulfill a specific need, all trusts fall into two broad categories, a revocable trust, or an irrevocable trust.
A recent report in Forbes ADVISOR provides an overview of the differences between a revocable and an irrevocable trust. Well-written in terms suitable for the lay person, it is a good starting point for an understanding of an important estate-planning tool. Here’s an excerpt:
“What Are the Key Differences Between a Revocable Trust vs. an Irrevocable Trust?
Both a revocable and irrevocable trust can help you to facilitate a transfer of assets outside of probate. But there are some major differences between a revocable trust vs. an irrevocable trust that you must be aware of when deciding which type of estate planning tool is right for you.
These differences have to do with the level of control you must give up, as well as the level of protection each trust provides for your assets. “
The professional team at The Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A. is committed to serving individuals and families that recognize the need to prepare for future uncertainties by creating a plan – an estate plan that will protect assets, preserve wealth, and assure the orderly transfer of hard-earned possessions to the beneficiaries of their choosing, free of encumbrances.
Led by John Mangan, JD, MBA; certified by the Board of Legal Specialization & Education of the Florida Bar in Wills, Trusts, and Estates; the team strives to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information to those who seek its guidance.