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Our firm frequently advises on clients on matters of Estate Planning. One of the most important questions is whether a client needs a Simple Will, a Will with a Support Trust, or a Revocable Living Trust.

Aaron C. Swiren, one of our attorneys, will be giving an Estate Planning seminar on August 17, 2015. The topic of the seminar is Testamentary Documents – Must-Have Provisions and Drafting Do’s and Don’ts..” The seminar will include a discussion of Wills and Trusts, selecting Personal Representatives and Trustees, and other topics.

The choice between a Will and a Living Trust can be complicated, but there are several common factors we use to advise clients making the choice between a will and revocable living trust. First, does the client own real estate outside the State of Florida? Avoiding probate in other states is one of the most frequency uses for a Living Trust.

Another question is the age and health of the client. Is the client in good physical and mental health? A Living Trust can be a powerful way to delay or avoid a guardianship in the event of mental incapacity.

A related concern is whether the client engages in business that will need immediate attention if they are incapacitated or pass away. A Living Trust can make the transition to new control easy and relatively seamless. Without a trust, the client’s business may need to wait for the appointment of a Guardian or Personal Representative.

Finally, we discuss with our clients whether a Testamentary Trust, or a trust contained within the Will, might be best for their situation. This is most often used to provide for children or grandchildren, and can also be combined with a Revocable Living Trust when appropriate.