Fort Myers Trusts Attorney
Protect Your Family’s Financial Future with a Trust
Trusts can be costly and time-consuming but can pay off in the long run. Typically established by those with estates of considerable value, trusts can help people preserve wealth for their family’s future by avoiding costly court fees during probate and certain taxes. This can be especially important for spouses who need to afford a mortgage or make other ends meet to prevent financial hardship.
Dorcey Law Firm can help you establish your trust, no matter its complexity or the value of your estate. Our trust attorneys in Fort Myers are here to help people like you protect your family’s interests in what you’ve built over your lifetime and wish to pass on one day. So please get the help you need to secure your family’s future by contacting us today for legal assistance. When you do, request a free consultation so you can learn about the options we have available to people like you.
How Does a Trust Work?
While it’s relatively simple to explain how a will works, there’s a little more involved when it comes to trust. Like a will, a trust lets you determine what you want to give to your beneficiaries, but it does so less directly.
A trust is a legal entity you can create to hold property and assets of your estate for you. As the trust grantor, you will assign a trustee to manage these assets for you. Unlike a will, this can all happen while you are still alive and well, and you can set up your trust to limit the trustee’s control over certain privileges and duties. You can even select yourself as the trustee to ensure you benefit from as much of what’s in your trust as possible and assign a successor to take over when you pass on. This successor, or a co-trustee, will also be responsible for dividing your trust among your beneficiaries, as would happen with a will.
The critical thing to remember with a trust is that whatever is placed in one becomes the trust's property. This distinction in ownership makes trusts attractive in the first place because they can protect an estate against probate court and even certain taxes.
What Are the Benefits of a Trust Over a Will?
A will doesn’t necessarily contrast with a trust, but placing your estate in a trust can protect it from many of the costs that an estate covered by a will can incur.
Two key reasons why people choose to establish a trust include:
- The potential for avoiding probate court and avoiding certain taxes, like the federal estate tax. Both of these events – which will apply to estates covered only by a will or none at all – can rack up considerable costs against an estate, whittling it down so that your beneficiaries could be left with a significantly reduced distribution than intended.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t forego a will to back up your trust. Because all of your estates must be contained within the trust, anything you own that’s not within the faith can be subject to probate and the state’s intestacy laws. A valid will can act as a “safety net” for anything that falls through the trust, allowing you to maintain control over inheritance – and reduce the time and cost of probate proceedings – should any part of your estate not be included in your trust.
Types of Trusts to Consider for Your Estate Plan
Trusts are versatile estate planning tools that can be customized to meet your unique needs and goals. At Dorcey Law Firm, our experienced Fort Myers trusts attorney can help you explore the various types of trusts available and determine which ones are best suited for your situation.
Some common types of trusts to consider include:
- Revocable trusts: Allows you to maintain control over your assets during your lifetime and make changes as needed. Upon your death, the trust assets are distributed to your beneficiaries according to your wishes.
- Irrevocable trusts: Transfers ownership of your assets to the trust, removing them from your estate for tax and creditor protection purposes. You cannot make changes to the trust once it is established.
- Special needs trusts: Provides for the care and support of a loved one with a disability without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits.
- Charitable trusts: Enables you to donate assets to a charitable organization while receiving tax benefits and potentially generating income for yourself or your beneficiaries.
By incorporating trusts into your estate plan, you can achieve greater flexibility, control, and protection for your assets and your loved ones. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and start planning for your family's financial future.
We are dedicated to keeping your estate plan current with changes in your life and the law, providing you with peace of mind knowing your legacy will continue through all seasons of life.