Is Your Trust Managed Responsibly?
There are many different reasons for creating a trust. A trust might be established to manage an individual’s assets while they are living, to avoid probate upon death, to make gifts to others or even to take advantage of tax planning. At Deborah Doliner P.A., we can help you understand how a trust may benefit you and your family, prepare the appropriate documents and provide advice in connection with the funding and administration of the trust. While administering a trust during one’s lifetime is not difficult, it is helpful to have an experienced professional available in the event questions arise in connection with the administration of the trust.
At Deborah Doliner P.A., we can provide guidance in connection with the funding, administration or termination of a trust.
Understanding The Basics Of Trust Administration
Many people want to create a trust during their lifetime (sometimes referred to as a “Living Trust”) for the purpose of avoiding probate upon death. Our firm can prepare the living trust and guide the Settlor (or the Trustee) through the process of funding and administering the trust. It is important to note that most living trusts are made revocable and they can be amended or modified at any time as long as the person who created the trust is competent. In some cases, it may be advisable to make the trust irrevocable, which means that the trust cannot be altered once the trust is in effect.
Operation Of Trusts
The Trustee of a Trust has many responsibilities and duties, some of which are outlined in the trust instrument, while others are required under Florida law. At Deborah Doliner P.A., we can review the trust and guide the Trustee through the process of administering the trust in accordance with its terms and Florida law.
Termination Of Trusts
If an individual creates a living trust during his or her lifetime and dies, the trust contains provisions that direct distribution of the trust upon the death of the Settlor. Either the named Trustee(s) or the successor Trustee(s) will step in to continue the administration of the trust under its terms. Frequently, the trust is responsible for paying the debts and expenses of the Settlor and terminating the trust in accordance with its terms.
At Deborah Doliner P.A., we can guide the Trustee(s) through the complete process of settling the trust upon the death of the settlor. In contrast, if we are not representing the Trustee(s), we can represent the beneficiary of an estate or trust, helping him or her understand their rights under the trust. Our firm can also work with your local attorneys who do not have an active estate and trust practice or with your out of state attorneys who represent you in other matters.
Creation Of Following Trusts
Sometimes a terminating trust will direct distribution to a new trust. Our firm can help the Trustee establish and operate the new trust. This may involve obtaining taxpayer-identification numbers, sending required notices to qualified beneficiaries and evaluating the distribution provisions. Trustees have very specific duties and obligations under Florida law and it is important that the Trustee understand his or her obligations and operate the trust properly.
Creation Of Gift Trusts
A donor may establish a gift trust for the benefit of other individuals. At Deborah Doliner P.A., we can help the donor establish the trust and provide advice to the Trustee on the operation of the trust. This may involve obtaining taxpayer-identification numbers, sending required notices to qualified beneficiaries and evaluating the distribution provisions. Again, Trustees have very specific duties and obligations under Florida law and it is important that the Trustee understand his or her obligations and operate the trust properly.
Creation Of Tax Planning Trusts
While the current tax laws have reduced the necessity of tax planning for many individuals, it still may be necessary for some to consider tax planning. This may involve establishing an Irrevocable Insurance Trust, a Charitable Trust, GRIT, GRAT or another type of gift trust. Our firm can help evaluate the necessity of such a plan, draft the documents and provide advice on the implementation of the plan.