Trust Attorney in Pensacola, FL
Whether you are seeking to protect assets from probate, trying to avoid paying unnecessary capital gains taxes, wanting to protect a child with a disability, or hoping to provide for a charitable cause, a trust could be the legal tool that will help you accomplish your goals.
A trust can not only provide you with peace of mind but also deliver financial benefits to loved ones according to your exact wishes. The experienced trust attorneys at the law offices of Whibbs Stone Barnett, P.A., are ready to help you with the advice and legal counsel you need to establish and administer these valuable arrangements.
What is a Trust?
A trust is a type of legal entity that has been used for centuries. When the noblemen and Knights in England left for the crusades during the middle ages, they needed a legal way to ensure that their loved ones and property were provided for in their absence or in case they didn’t return. This is how the concept of the trust was born, and it has been in use as a legal device ever since.
When you create a trust, you are known as the “Trustor.” The person who benefits from the trust, usually a loved one, is the “Beneficiary.” A “Trustee” is the party that you designate to follow the directions outlined in the trust.
A trust is used to hold financial assets or other property for a specific period, and to make payments to certain parties according to the details found in the document. Trusts are often prepared by an experienced estate planning attorney because each agreement is unique, and the language must be precise enough to avoid future legal disputes.
Help Establishing Your Trust
A properly drafted trust can protect your loved ones from paying exorbitant taxes upon your death, while helping to more efficiently and effectively transfer assets according to your wishes. Trusts can serve a wide range of needs and come in many different forms. Some of the trusts that the estate planning attorneys at the law offices of Whibbs Stone Barnett, P.A., can prepare and service include:
- Living trusts
- Revocable and irrevocable trusts
- Asset protection trusts
- Supplemental needs trusts
- Charitable remainder trusts
A living trust is an agreement made during your lifetime between you (the Trustor) and an entity or individual (the Trustee). The living trust will determine how certain named assets will be managed and distributed. This type of trust can be either revocable or irrevocable.
Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts
A revocable trust is one that includes terms within the agreement allowing for either amendment or termination. With this type of trust, you can specify how your assets are to be managed during your lifetime as well as name someone to assume the responsibility for their management should you become disabled. This trust can serve the same purpose as a will regarding the distribution of assets to beneficiaries while avoiding time delays and the expense associated with probate.
Clients with larger estates may choose an irrevocable trust. This allows the transfer of some assets into a trust for named beneficiaries. Once set aside, these assets are no longer accessible by the Trustor. The benefit of this option is that you can use “gifting” advantages to reduce the size of your taxable estate over time and provide your beneficiaries with protection from potential creditors.
Asset Protection Trusts
Trusts can be used to protect certain assets for a variety of reasons. Whether you are a business owner, a married couple, or someone nearing retirement, we can help. Business owners may wish to limit their exposure to liability by protecting certain assets through a trust. These agreements can also lower a person’s estate value to avoid unnecessary taxes or even the seizure of assets from Medicaid to pay for nursing home bills.
Supplemental Needs Trusts
If you have a loved one with a disability, you will need to plan carefully if you wish to help them after you are gone while also conserving their eligibility for certain assistance programs. A disabled person can still maintain their eligibility for Medicaid and Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI) if you set up a particular type of trust. When prepared properly, the funds from these trusts, which are controlled by a trusted third party, won’t jeopardize other valuable benefits.
Charitable Remainder Trusts
A Charitable Remainder Trust is the most common type of charitable trust, and it’s one that allows you to generously donate to a charity of your choice while giving your estate a tax break at the same time. This is an irrevocable trust to an IRS-approved charity. The charity is your Trustee, which will produce a certain amount of income for your estate while you are still alive, including giving you several tax advantages.
Trust Administration and Litigation
After an individual that has established a trust passes away, there is a process for administration. A trustee is named that will handle a variety of tasks associated with adhering to the terms of the trust. This is a complex process in itself, and our qualified estate planning attorneys have years of experience helping to administer trusts.
Unfortunately, disputes may arise when a beneficiary contests the terms of a trust. Whether we drafted the trust or not, our trust lawyers can work with the involved parties to resolve these disputes. Our goal is always to reach a fair agreement while avoiding litigation. When litigation is necessary, we use our proven track record of success to achieve the most favorable outcome on behalf of our clients.
Experienced Florida and Alabama Trust Attorneys
Each family’s assets and circumstances are unique. The estate planning attorneys at the law offices of Whibbs Stone Barnett, P.A., deliver customized solutions for your needs, including the strategic use of a variety of trusts.
Our experienced trust attorneys will discuss your circumstances and goals. We can help create and administer the trust or trusts that are most appropriate to your objectives. Our office offers comprehensive estate planning services to clients throughout the Pensacola and Mobile Gulf Coast region.
Contact our office now at 850-500-1111.