A trust is one of many estate planning tools that may help you achieve your short and long-term goals. For instance, it may be used to keep your Florida home out of your estate or to keep other assets from being subject to probate. Trusts may also be used to keep the terms of your estate plan away from the media or others who may wish to use them against you or your family.
A trust may be an effective estate plan tool if you want to make gifts during your lifetime. An irrevocable trust allows you to transfer assets to a child, sibling or other parties without the need to pay gift taxes or use the entirety of your estate tax exemption. As you get to choose the trustee, you may also retain some sort of control over trust assets even if they are controlled by the trust itself.
Remain eligible for benefits
As trust assets are held outside of your estate, they generally don’t count against you when applying for government benefits. Therefore, placing a home, car or other items into a trust may make it easier to pass a means test or meet other income or asset guidelines imposed by programs such as Medicaid. A special needs trust can be used to manage donations made to your child, sibling or other disabled family member who you are tasked with caring for.
Creating a trust may allow you to manage your affairs both now and after you pass. As its terms are not a matter of public record, it may be possible to prevent family infighting or other issues that might delay the process of settling your affairs. It may also ensure that assets are transferred in a timely and tax-efficient manner.