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Floridians wonder about revocability of trusts

Florida residents have enough on their plate. From running their businesses to taking care of their kids, adults have little time to manage issues on their periphery. Estate planning is one of the issues that is often pushed back until another day. This delay is also caused by confusion over what is needed in an effective estate plan.

If residents knew what to do, they would be more likely to act. For instance, most individuals recognize the benefits of trusts. Shielding assets and avoiding probate are just two of the potential benefits that a trust can have. Despite these well-known advantages, many people have trouble with the dynamics of revocable vs. irrevocable trusts. As a result, people shy away from putting a trust in place.

The core concept, though, is simple. A revocable trust can be modified, whereas the terms in an irrevocable trust are locked in. For instance, a parent can create an irrevocable trust for a child. The child will not be able to change the terms of the trust and funds will only be distributed as directed by the trust. This generality, of course, is only the beginning of the story.

Protecting assets from creditors is another important component of a trust. While the beneficiary of the trust may only have access to certain funds through controlled asset distribution, creditors may still try to collect from the remaining assets held in trust. In addition, federal and state laws allow even irrevocable trusts to be modified, which can make the assets accessible in certain limited instances.

As a result, it is vital to obtain trust advice from an experienced and knowledgeable source. Local Lee attorneys know how estate planning tools can meet your goals. Moreover, they know how to avoid common pitfalls that can easily disrupt a well-intentioned plan. While the idea of putting your intentions in writing often seems daunting, most estate planning clients are pleasantly surprised at the ease and efficiency of securing their assets with an estate plan.

Source: Naples News, “Irrevocable trust might be revocable,” William Morris, Mar. 22, 2014

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