When it comes to Florida trusts, whether you are the one making the trust or the one benefitting from it, it can be difficult to know how to navigate the legal waters. That’s why today, we’re taking a look at 15 facts that Florida trust lawyers want you to know about Florida trusts and the trust process.
15 Facts on Florida Trusts that Florida Trust Lawyers Want You to Know
1. In the state of Florida, trust laws state that a trust is created only if the following is true:
- The settlor has the capacity to create a trust.
- The settlor indicates an intent to create the trust.
- The trust has a definite beneficiary or is a charitable trust, a trust for the care of an animal, or a trust for a noncharitable purpose.
- The trustee has duties to perform.
- The same person is not the sole trustee and sole beneficiary.
2. In the state of Florida, Florida trusts may be created by:
- The transfer of property to another person as trustee during the settlor’s lifetime or by will or other disposition taking effect on the settlor’s death;
- The declaration by the owner of property that the owner holds identifiable property as trustee; or
- The exercise of a power of appointment in favor of a trustee.
3. In the state of Florida, a trust and its terms must be for the benefit of its beneficiaries. Additionally, the purpose of the trust must be lawful and not contrary to public policy. Florida trusts must also be possible to achieve.
4. In the state of Florida, trusts may be created for charitable purposes.
5. In the state of Florida, a trust may be created to care for an animal that was living during the lifetime of the settlor. The animal trust terminates upon the death of the last animal named in the trust.
6. In the state of Florida, a revocable living trust can be revoked or amended at any time during the life of the grantor of the trust. For as long as the grantor of the trust is living they are also considered to be the trustee and are allowed to exercise complete control over the trust.
7. In the state of Florida, when the grantor of a revocable living trust dies, the living trust becomes an irrevocable trust and the provisions made in the trust may not be altered by any of the trust beneficiaries.
8. The state of Florida legally recognizes the validity of any living trust that has been created in another state as long as that trust was properly executed according to the laws of the state of formation.
9. In the state of Florida, it is necessary for a living trust to be drafted by an experienced Florida estate planning attorney. In fact, the Florida Supreme Court holds that the preparation of a living trust by anyone other than a licensed attorney constitutes the unauthorized practice of law!
10. In the state of Florida, a living trust can be utilized to avoid probate upon the death of the grantor’s of the trust. This happens because living trust property is not titled in the name of the grantor at the time of their death and so the property is not considered as part of a probate estate. So long as the property is appropriately titled in the name of the living trust, the successor trustee can administer the trust property and transfer the property in the trust to the trust beneficiaries without going through the probate process.
11. In that state of Florida, it is not always possible to include your home in your trust, or you may need to utilize very specific language in the trust to make this possible due to current legal restrictions.
12. In the state of Florida, if the terms of Florida trusts do not specify the trustee’s compensation, a trustee is entitled to compensation that is reasonable under the circumstances. However, if the trust does provide for compensation, the trustee shall receive that compensation, but the court may alter this compensation amount based on the extent of the duties performed by the trustee. For example, if the duties of the trustee far exceed the compensation amount noted in the trust, the court may opt to increase this amount and award the trustee with the original amount provided for as well as the additional compensation decided upon the on by court.
13. In the state of Florida, a trustee is entitled to be reimbursed out of the trust property, with interest as appropriate, for any reasonable expenses that were properly incurred in the administration of the trust.
14. In the state of Florida, a vacancy in a trusteeship occurs if:
- A person designated as trustee declines the trusteeship;
- A person designated as trustee cannot be identified or does not exist;
- A trustee resigns;
- A trustee is disqualified or removed;
- A trustee dies; or
- A trustee is adjudicated to be incapacitated
If a vacancy in the trusteeship occurs a remaining co-trustee becomes the sole trustee or else the vacancy is filled by a successor trustee.
15. In the state of Florida, Upon acceptance of a trusteeship, a trustee must administer the trust in good faith, in accordance with the terms and purposes of that trust and in the interests of the beneficiaries, and in accordance with the Florida trust code.
Need Florida Legal Help for Florida Trusts?
If you are in need of an attorney to help navigate your way through Florida trusts, Weidner Law can help! Just pick up the phone and give us a call today at 727-954-8752 or contact us through our online contact form to find out how we can help you with your Florida trust questions.