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A properly written and funded Revocable Living Trust can save the agony of a long drawn out court probate action as well as eliminate probate fees and related costs. Another important attribute of a well drafted Revocable Living Trust, is it can save your heirs a vast amount of valuable time.
Generally, when you create a Revocable Living Trust, you are the "trustee" of all assets until death. When you die, all the Successor Trustee must do is show a certified death certificate to assume your role with banks, other assets and other like matters. A Successor Trustee is a person you trust and elect to handle your affairs. Typically, not always, a successor is named, and then a second and third choice if the first named successors, for any reason, should do not want the role.
If a person dies with just a will or intestate even, (no will at all) a huge amount of time is typically spent securing lawyers for the probate and court process. Newspaper ads must generally be ran in the newspaper informing potential creditors [such as the hospital] there is an "estate" at the court house and claims begin. Worse, each heir may have to secure their own attorney to protect any interest they may have, and so there is no conflict with the attorney assigned to the court case. This is when probate can become a very long, expensive and protracted event.
This information should be enough to explain the power and benefits of a Revocable Living Trust versus a will or no will at all.
Meaning once a person has a properly drafted and executed Revocable Living Trust, any assets such as home, cars, stock brokerage accounts and so on, need to have ownership title changes making the owner of the account the title of the person's Trust. Often they will need to simply provide a copy of their trust to the agency in which they request a change of name ownership-such as a bank who holds a checking account as one example. And when documents are properly funded signed, and transactions made after that, the instruments should be signed name, Trustee, to keep the intent of Trust and show no departure from the formality of the created trust.
Any trust we prepare does have the Florida Homestead exemption properly spelled out, so when a real estate title is transferred into the Trust, the Trustee can still enjoy his/her homestead status and typically related real estate homestead tax savings.
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