Many people in Florida feel as if creating a will is sufficient for their estate planning needs. However, in most cases a more comprehensive approach to estate planning is best. Incorporating things like living wills, powers of attorney and trusts can help achieve the best possible protection and benefits possible. Living trusts are particularly popular in this regard.
At its most basic, a trust holds a certain asset or property that is managed by a person other than its creator -- the trustee -- for the benefit of its intended recipient -- the beneficiary. A living trust is simply one that is created during the grantor's lifetime. Conversely, an inter vivos trust is one that is created after the grantor's death. Most people prefer living trusts as they allow for greater control over assets and property.
A living trust may be either revocable or nonrevocable, meaning that it can either be altered during a lifetime or is otherwise set. Both types of living trust are effective at keeping certain assets from going through probate. Since probate can be both costly and time-consuming, trusts can ensure intended beneficiaries receive their full inheritances in a more timely manner. Trusts can also reduce owed taxes and protect a person's financial privacy.
Any documents dealt with during probate are typically made public. Those in Florida who value privacy may also want to consider that trusts not only protect assets and beneficiaries, but these important documents also protect privacy. Setting up living trusts is not necessarily straightforward, though, so consulting with an experienced attorney first is usually helpful.