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Florida Living Trust Forms – Irrevocable & Revocable

A Florida living trust allows a person (the Grantor) to legally define the recipient(s) of their assets after they die. While operating similarly to a Will, a Living Trust differs in that the assets placed within the trust are not subject to probate (court processing of a deceased person’s real estate and property). The Beneficiaries will instead receive the Grantor’s assets directly after the Grantor passes away. Management of the Grantor’s real estate and property will be handled by an individual chosen by the Grantor, known as the “Trustee”. A Grantor may wish to nominate themselves as the Trustee and benefit from the income accrued from their assets (Revocable Trusts only).

LawsChapter 736 (Florida Trust Code)

Registration (§ 736.05055) – Upon the death of the Grantor, the Trustee must use the Registration Notice Form to inform the Florida Probate Court handling the estate of the Grantor’s Living Trust.

Wills (Last Will and Testament) – To be used to distribute all personal and real property not mentioned in the Living Trust. The assets in the Will are considered part of the estate and are subject to probate.

Types

Irrevocable – The Grantor may not alter an Irrevocable Trust unless specific circumstances have been met (see 736.04113). All of the Grantor’s real property and other assets are protected from creditors and are non-taxable.

Revocable – Can be managed by the Grantor if they nominate themselves as the Trustee. This type of trust can be modified easily by the Grantor after it has been created.

Individual Roles

There are several roles involved in a Living Trust, all of which have been listed below.

Grantor (or “Settlor”) – Individual who is placing their assets in the trust in order to benefit the Beneficiaries.

Trustee – The Trustee is essentially the manager of the trust and is required to act in the best interests of the Beneficiaries. A Revocable Trust permits the Grantor to be the Trustee.

Successor Trustee – If the initial Trustee becomes incapacitated or dies, the Successor Trustee will acquire authorization to manage the trust.

Beneficiaries – Individual(s) who will benefit from the real estate and property placed in the trust.

How to Make a Living Trust in Florida

According to § 736.0402, to create a trust, the Grantor needs to select a Trustee and Beneficiary and list their assets and property within the document. One requirement is that the same person cannot be the sole Beneficiary and sole Trustee. In order to transfer assets into the Trust, it may be necessary to get the document notarized.

Motor Vehicles – A vehicle may be transferred to a trust by filling out a Florida Bill of Sale and registering the new vehicle information at one of the Motor Vehicle Service Center Locations. Be sure to contact your insurer to adjust the policy so that it includes the Trustee.

Real Estate – To place real estate in a trust, a Florida Deed should be completed, signed, witnessed and notarized before being filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Websites – The ownership information of your website must be altered so that it reflects the change of ownership. This can be accomplished by contacting your registrar (e.g. GoDaddy) and notifying them of the change.

Do I Need a Living Trust?

In Florida, if an individual has less than Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars ($75,000) in net worth, he or she may not have a need for a Living Trust. Under § 735.201(2), the Heirs of an estate may file a Small Estate Affidavit in order to avoid the probate process. So unless an individual specifically wants to grant certain assets to friends or family members, the Small Estate Affidavit may be filed in the court after their death while still avoiding probate.

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