One estate planning tool that some Florida residents may find to be helpful is a revocable living trust. These instruments hold the assets placed in them by their grantors. The grantors may then use the assets while they are alive, transferring them directly to the trust beneficiaries when they die.
Placing homes in trusts may be smart when people want to avoid a long and expensive probate process. This is especially helpful for people who own vacation homes in other states so that they don't have to go through probate in multiple jurisdictions. Trusts outline how the assets will be passed to the beneficiaries, and they can be transferred within a few weeks after the grantors die rather than the months it takes to distribute property under wills.
People who have large estates may want to consider placing their homes in irrevocable trusts rather than in revocable trusts. Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed after they are created, and the assets that they hold are not included in the grantor's estate. This may help people to avoid estate taxes if the sizes of their estates exceed the estate tax exemption amount.
People who have questions about trusts, wills and other estate planning tools might want to consult with an estate planning attorney. Legal counsel may make suggestions about the documents that might work best for their clients. An attorney may then help his or her client by drafting the necessary legal documents so that the client's assets will pass to beneficiaries in a seamless fashion and in the manner intended.