When you craft your Florida estate plan, you may pay particular attention to your will. Your will gives you a way through which to dictate who you want to inherit your assets and belongings, but there are limits to exactly what it does.
When you have specific estate planning goals to accomplish, you may find that creating a trust enables you to do some of the things you are unable to do through a standard will. A trust is a type of agreement between you and a trustee, and your trustee has an obligation to see that your wishes come to fruition when the time comes to oversee its distributions. What might you be able to do through a trust that a will does not allow you to do?
Protect public benefits eligibility
Many people choose to establish trusts as a way of protecting their loved one’s eligibility for public benefits. If any of your beneficiaries have to undergo means-testing to qualify for Medicaid, Social Security Disability Insurance or similar programs, leaving that party assets in a standard will may disqualify him or her from eligibility.
Set conditions for asset distributions
A trust also gives you a degree of control over when your beneficiaries gain access to what you leave them. If you have a child who is irresponsible with money or struggling with some type of substance dependency, you may not wish to leave this person a large sum all at once. When you make a trust, you may instruct your trustee to only make distributions when certain things happen first.
While these are two main reasons many people choose to include trusts in their estate plans, this is not an exhaustive summary of all the things you may be able to do through a trust.