Revocable Living Trusts (RLTs)

In Florida, a revocable living trust is a type of agreement that works both when the grantor (the person who creates it) is alive and after they’ve passed. This estate planning tool offers numerous benefits, including the chance to avoid probate.

At Medley Law Firm, we know that unless you’re a legal expert, trying to design an estate plan on your own can be overwhelming. Don’t worry—we’re here to take that journey with you. Give us a call at (850) 607-7890 to schedule a case evaluation today. 

As most adults age, they realize that they need some sort of plan to address how their finances will be distributed when they inevitably pass. However, they tend to get at least two things wrong:

  1. They believe estate planning is only for seniors, and;
  2. they believe that jotting out a will is good enough.
Revocable Living Trust

The reality is that your assets may go through a number of legal processes before being distributed to your beneficiaries unless you make a savvy estate plan. One popular estate planning tool in Florida is the revocable living trust (RLT), but creating one can be difficult without help from an experienced revocable living trusts lawyer. 

As top estate planning attorneys in Florida, we’re experienced in creating trusts, wills and more that fit perfectly with our clients’ unique needs. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about revocable living trusts, when to use them and how we can help you take advantage of their many benefits. 

You never know what life is going to throw your way. If you want to protect your family’s financial future, you need to start thinking about your estate plan now. Ready to get started? Contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our top-notch trust attorneys.

What Is a Revocable Living Trust?

In Florida, a revocable living trust is a type of agreement that works both when the grantor (the person who creates it) is alive and after they’ve passed. This estate planning tool offers numerous benefits, including the chance to avoid probate. It enables its creator to manage assets during their lifetime and choose how they’ll be distributed when they pass. 

Whereas the person who creates the trust is known as the grantor or settlor, the person responsible for managing it is called the trustee. The grantor can serve as their own trustee, or they can appoint another individual, bank or trust company to manage it. This trust is called revocable because the grantor can modify or terminate it during their lifetime—as long as they aren’t capacitated at the time of their decision. 

During the grantor’s lifetime, the trustee invests and manages the trust property, generally allowing the grantor to withdraw money and assets at any time. In the event that the grantor becomes incapacitated, their appointed trustee can continue to manage assets, pay bills, invest, etc. As a result, the trust has no need for a guardian and can thus avoid probate

When the grantor dies, it’s up to their trustee (or successor if the grantor was the original trustee) to first pay all claims and taxes and then distribute the assets to beneficiaries in the manner laid out in the agreement. To maximize the benefits, the grantor must transfer their assets, including bank accounts, real estate and investments, into the trust before their death. 

Assets that are not transferred to the trust may have to go through probate, but make no mistake—not every asset belongs in an RLT. In fact, certain assets could cause tax problems if transferred. That’s why it’s critical to consult with an experienced revocable living trusts lawyer. 

Basic Components of RLTs in Florida

In Florida, revocable living trusts have a few different components. In general, these trusts are defined by the following five attributes: 

  1. They’re revocable. RLTs can be amended or terminated at any time by the grantor. 
  2. They require a trustmaker, grantor or settlor. In other words, RLTs are established by the person who designs the provisions of the agreement. 
  3. They appoint a trustee. The trustee is the person appointed by the grantor to ensure the trust’s directions are carried out after their death. They have a fiduciary duty to implement the grantor’s wishes in a fair and reasonable manner. 
  4. They have a lifetime beneficiary. The lifetime beneficiary is the grantor, the person who establishes the trust. They have full access and control over the trust until death.
  5. They have a death beneficiary. The death beneficiary is the person who benefits from the remaining income and principal of the trust after the grantor’s death. 

To establish an RLT in Florida, the grantor must complete a series of steps, beginning with choosing between a single trust or a joint trust for couples. Then they must appoint a trustee and determine who will benefit from the trust after their death. After drafting the trust, the grantor will formally execute it with two witnesses and a notary. Finally, the grantor will transfer title to the trust. 

Medley Law Firm: Top Estate Planning Lawyers in Florida

Setting up a revocable living trust has numerous advantages, including the ability to change or terminate the trust and avoid the probate process. However, it isn’t always easy to establish one alone. Luckily, the revocable living trusts lawyers at Medley Law Firm are here to help. 

Ready to secure your family’s financial future? We can give you the tools to protect your legacy. Getting started is as simple as giving us a call at (850) 607-7890 or contacting us online to schedule a consultation

Speak To An Attorney

Medley Law Firm is an Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate firm in Pensacola, Florida that offers in-person professional services from Pensacola to Panama City and virtually across the entire state.

Contact Us