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Trusts can be very useful tools in estate planning, elder care and asset protection.


Florida statutes, which are derived from the Uniform Trust Code, set forth the requirements for creating, modifying, terminating and reforming a Florida trust.


There are a variety of trusts including, but not limited to, Revocable Living Trusts, Grantor Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Gun Trusts, QTIP Trusts, Testamentary Trusts and trusts for minors.  Trusts can also be created to provide for the care of a pet or to further a charitable cause.


The individual who creates a trust is referred to as a settler or grantor.  A trustee then manages the trust and the trust assets. The trustee is a fiduciary and is required to adhere to Florida statutes regulating trustee acceptance, duties, responsibilities, removal or resignation, succession and compensation.


Once a trust is established, the trust must be funded in order to receive the benefits of the trust.  In other words, assets must be transferred to the trust in order to be considered trust property.  Assets that are not trust property do not receive the benefits of the trust and may be subject to the probate process. However, it is not always appropriate to transfer certain assets to the trust. Though there can benefits, there can also be consequences, such as tax issues that might arise.


It is important that you speak with an attorney who can discuss whether establishing a trust is beneficial for you and which of your assets should be transferred to the trust once it is established.

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