Last year, the whirlwind of debate about the fiscal cliff and possible changes to federal tax law led some estate owners in Orlando to make some quick adjustments to limit tax liability. Many people with significant assets made lifetime gifts and created trusts to avoid a possible tax hike.
For people with assets to protect, planning out a method to transfer those assets after death is vital to prevent unnecessary devaluation and ensuring that the assets are given to the proper heirs. Creating a last will and testament is one method of making sure that the estate owner's wishes are eventually met. Using wills and other estate planning instruments, owners can effectively preserve properties or businesses, as was seen in the recent transfer of one Florida business.
Setting up a trust allows a person to retain a great deal of control over the transfer of assets to designated heirs. When setting up trusts, however, it's important that the trust maker provide some direction for how the assets will be administered. Unless an overseer for the trust is arranged, those charged with maintenance of the assets may behave in such a way as to maximize their own earnings while depleting the trust assets.