What Types of Trusts Are Used in Florida Estate Planning?
Depending on what kind and how many assets you have and what you want to do with them once you are gone, your estate plan can be very simple or extraordinarily complex. In addition to recording your wishes in a will and putting money into joint accounts, you might choose to make use of trusts to have greater control over how your assets are used and disbursed once you’re gone.
Trusts function almost like a business entity in that they can own property and manage investments. The goals of trusts, however, are typically to provide financial support for beneficiaries or causes. There are a variety of different trusts allowed under Florida law, and each has its own purpose.
- A living trust allows you to retain control of your property for as long as you are alive, but once you die, the assets can be passed to (or used to benefit) the beneficiaries.
- Dynasty trusts allow your estate to live on almost indefinitely, providing future generations of your offspring with funding to pursue an education or other pursuits. These trusts also have tax benefits — assets are only taxed when they are put into or generated by the trust. Beneficiaries pay no taxes on what they receive.
- AB trusts are a tool used by married couples to double the amount of money that can be left to their heirs without paying the federal estate tax. This type of planning requires the creation of two trusts, one for each spouse.
- Special needs trusts are designed to make sure that children or others with a physical or mental disability receive the care they need. This type of trust can be used instead of leaving the child money directly in a will and may also be used to allow the beneficiary to collect government benefits while still having money for care.
To learn more about these and other trusts, speak with a skilled Tampa estate planning attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.