Checklist for Meeting with a Florida Living Trusts Attorney
No matter what your net worth may be, you know that it’s important to plan for what happens to your assets upon your passing. It’s possible that you’ve already made a smart move by creating a will, but there may come a time to consider your options with a living trust. A recent Forbes article points out the benefits of preparing a living trust, including privacy, avoiding probate, and reducing potential tax liability. Another advantage is that you retain control over trust assets and distributions when you opt for a revocable living trust.
Because of the importance of this structure as part of a comprehensive estate plan, it’s essential to retain a Florida living trusts lawyer who can advise you and draft the necessary documents. However, you’ll need to do your part to prepare for your meeting. You make the best use of your time when you follow this checklist on creating a living trust.
- Itemize your assets. One key aspect of creating a living trust is funding it, i.e., placing your assets in the name of the trust so you personally don’t own them. Therefore, make a list of all your interests in real estate and personal property, including your house, vehicles, bank accounts, investments, and life insurance policies. This memo gives you a big picture view of what you own, so you can decide how you’ll distributed assets upon death.
- Gather documentation for real and personal property. Once you’ve made your list of assets, collect all the paperwork regarding each item. For instance, you should locate titles for real estate and vehicles, along with statements for accounts and insurance. These documents will be important when you change the ownership to the name of your living trust.
- Consider living trust beneficiaries. Your beneficiaries are the people who will receive your assets upon death, according to the instructions you provide in the trust. You can include family and other loved ones, or you might consider a charitable cause. If you have concerns about a beneficiary’s ability to handle proceeds in a responsible manner, you can include provisions to limit spending or not make any distributions until a certain age.
- Choose your successor trustee. As grantor, you’ll typically name yourself as trustee to manage the trust during your lifetime. When you die, it’s your successor that will carry out distribution to beneficiaries, pay your creditors, and handle other directions according to your wishes. Many grantors choose to designate their spouse as successor trustee; if not, it should be someone you trust.
Get Help from a Florida Living Trusts Attorney
Once you’ve checked these items off the list, you’re in a better position to make the most of your meeting with your lawyer. To set up a consultation regarding a living trust, please contact the Dade City trusts lawyers at The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane. You can reach our office by calling 352-567-0055 or visiting us online. We can advise you on additional items to bring or arrange before coming in for your appointment, and answer any questions you have about the process.