One of the most difficult times in life is deciding when a senior citizen should move from one's dream retirement community in Florida to an assisted living facility. Many seniors will need to make this decision themselves, while others will have help from their spouses or adult children. Some seniors will reluctantly need to move to a facility due to the decline in their health.
Assigning someone you trust to serve as your trustee is a difficult task, and one that you may easily underestimate. Before simply naming a friend or associate as your trustee, be sure that you understand which qualities a good trustee must possess, in order to keep your affairs in order and make sure that you do not invite necessary risk into your estate plan.
When creating a trust, it is important to carefully consider who serves as the trustee. As your estate and the trust's contents grow more complex, the duties of the trustee grow in significance as well, as may the temptation to misuse the authority granted to trustees. To combat this potential temptation, and to spread around the duties associated with serving as a trustee, some people choose to name more than one trustee. This comes with its own set of benefits and potential complications.
For those building an estate plan, the sheer number of options available can seem overwhelming. Estate planning is a very complex field, with numerous financial products and tools to consider.
For many individuals, a trust or collection of trusts are the foundation of an estate plan. Unfortunately, they may spend considerable time and resources creating excellent terms to the trust and carefully funding it with resources aligned to fully take advantage of a trust's benefits, only to find their work undone by an untrustworthy or unqualified trustee.
If you or a loved one is approaching a season of life where they need ongoing assistance, or if you have concerns about your loved one's provision after you are gone, you should consider what a special needs trust may have to offer. In very basic terms, a special needs trust allows a person to receive benefits from the trust so that he or she does not exceed the income caps on receiving government benefits. For many individuals, government benefits make life possible, where paying for ongoing expenses entirely out-of-pocket would quickly exhaust available resources.
Once you begin looking into estate planning options, you very quickly begin running into the same word repeatedly — "probate." The process of probate doesn't extend far outside of estate reconciliation, so it may be an unfamiliar concept if you're just now beginning your estate planning journey. Probate is the process by which the state distributes the property of a deceased person to his or her heirs. Property that passes through probate may lose value or incur taxes, leaving the heirs with much less than the decedent intended.
Living trusts are an important tool in the estate planning toolbox. This term refers to a number of different estate planning products, each with their own purpose and advantages. It is important for individuals who think they may benefit from a living trust to learn exactly which type of living trust might serve their particular needs.
If you serve as a trustee to a trust, there are many reasons why you may wish to resign from your duties at some point. While this is certainly possible, it is similar to a minor divorce in some ways — legally allowed, but only by following certain state-specific procedures. For trustees in Florida, the process is relatively simple, but not always easy.
Florida famously hosts many retirees as they enter their golden years and move South to retire in style. However, many retiring or relocating individuals may worry that moving to Florida from some other state may adversely affect their existing estate plans in some way, specifically trusts created in another state. After all, trusts are state-specific documents.