When you first put together your Florida estate plan, you may decide to create a relatively basic plan so that you do not run the risk of dying intestate, or without a will. While a will is an undeniably important part of any estate plan, you may have specific goals you are trying to accomplish through your plan that a traditional will does not enable you to do.
According to Kiplinger, you may be able to accomplish many common (and less common) estate planning goals by including one or more trusts within your plan. When you create a trust, you turn over the management of that trust to a trustee who then oversees its distributions after your death. What are some of the things a trust might help you do that a will does not?
Make conditional distributions
When you die and leave assets to someone in your will, they typically receive those assets once the will makes its way through probate. However, you may have one or more children or beneficiaries that you do not want inheriting a hefty sum from you all at once for whatever reason. A trust gives you a chance to stipulate exactly how and when your beneficiaries may access what you leave them.
Protect eligibility for government benefits
Another common reason many people establish trusts is so that the money they leave beneficiaries does not disqualify them from utilizing means-based forms of public assistance, such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income.
You may also choose to create a trust to help avoid probate or achieve certain tax benefits, among many other possible reasons.