Trusts

Trust Attorneys Serving Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota and Venice

A trust is a place you can keep assets for yourself and others and possibly have managed by another party.  A trust could pay for your children or grandchildren’s college education, serve as a down payment on a house or provide security for a disabled family member.  Our trust lawyers in Lakewood Ranch, Florida can help you set up a trust for whoever you like.  Steiner Law Offices handles every aspect of trust administration from creation to distribution.  We’re here for the creator, the trustee and the beneficiaries to provide them with whatever they need.

Trusts

What are Living Trusts?

If you would prefer a living trust, we can set that up for you too. This is a trust that is created during your lifetime and then transfers assets to your designated beneficiaries after your death by a representative. They are similar to wills in that you can pass on property, though they cannot be used to name guardians. You also have the option of keeping your affairs private, since unlike a will, a trust does not become public after death.

Keep in mind that the best way to ensure these services and benefits is to establish your trust through our experienced trust attorneys.  The paperwork involved in this kind of work can be hopelessly confusing for anyone without proper legal education and training, both of which we have in abundance.

Our Trust Planning Process

Our trust planning process ascertains how much the beneficiary should receive and when and what the funds should be spent on.  You can also decide who will handle the money in the meantime; it could be the beneficiary’s guardian, but it doesn’t have to be.  We aim to get your trust to the right person no matter what happens and will work with you as long as it takes to make that possible.

Working with Our Attorneys

Consulting with our trust attorneys means you can set conditions on how and when money is spent.  A trust can also reduce gift and estate tax liability as well as protect your property from lawsuits and creditors.  Arguably the best benefit of all is that they allow your family to avoid having to go through the process of probate, which is when the court decides how to settle a deceased’s affairs.  This is an expensive, lengthy procedure that becomes unnecessary with the addition of a trust.

Contact Us

Contact us for a free consultation on your trust choices. We create them and close them for clients from Sarasota, Bradenton, Siesta Key, Anna Maria Island, and Ellenton, Florida, and the nearby areas.

Contact Steiner Law Offices today for help with Trusts – Get started now


Benefits of Trusts

Trusts are very powerful tools for accomplishing many estate planning goals, including the following:

  • Avoid the time, expense and stress of probate
  • Protect assets from your creditors
  • Protect assets from your loved ones’ creditors
  • Protect your assets in the event of your illness or in the case of an accident
  • Ensure that assets will be used wisely
  • Ensure that pets will be taken care of
  • Ensure that a loved ones with special needs will be taken care of
  • Minimize estate taxes
  • Ensure that assets stay in your bloodline

Types of Trusts

Many types of trust exist, each serving a different purpose.  Types of trusts include the following:

  • Revocable Trust (AKA Living Trust): Most common type of trust.  Creator remains in control of assets and can change or revoke while living; becomes irrevocable at death.  Avoids probate, protects assets from loved ones’ creditors, keeps assets in bloodline.  Does not protect from your creditors or minimize estate taxes.
  • Irrevocable trusts: Creator no longer in control of assets.  Can protect against creator’s creditors.  Can help avoid estate taxes.  Avoids probate
  • Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust (QTIP)
  • Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts (CRAT)
  • Charitable Remainder Unitrusts (CRUT)
  • Charitable Lead Annuity Trusts (CLAT)
  • Charitable Lead Unitrusts (CLUT)
  • Land Trusts
  • Gun Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
  • Qualified Domestic Trusts (QDOTs)

Potential Pitfalls of Trusts

  • Trust is not funded: Assets need to be titled in the name of the trust otherwise it is an empty safe
  • Invalid provisions (e.g. disinherit for contesting the trust, [others])
  • Not properly notarized
  • Incapacity of the person making the trust
  • Undue influence
  • Not understanding the purpose, benefits and limitations your trust
  • Choosing the wrong type of trust
  • Not having the proper provisions in the trust (e.g. not putting in spendthrift provision)
  • Thinking the only document you need is a trust- -not true you also need a will, etc.

Trusts Should be Part of Overall Plan

Many people mistakenly believe that if they have trust, they do not need other estate planning documents such as a last will and testament.  Instead, a trust is only part of an overall estate plan that can address many issues in the event of your incapacity or death.  Such additional documents include the following:


Trust Administration

Trust administration is the process of overseeing assets held within a trust according to the terms of the trust.  This can include tasks such as disbursing funds according to the terms of the trust, investing trust assets and filing tax returns.

We can assist the trustee.  The important role of trustee comes with key responsibilities to stakeholders, which include trust beneficiaries and the Internal Revenue Service.  We can represent trustees and help with responsibilities so that administering the trust goes smoothly, and the trust creator’s desires are respected.

We can serve as trustee.  As trustee, we strive to carry out the wishes of the trust creator with integrity adhering to the terms of the written trust agreement. When given the honor to serve in the role as trustee, we take our responsibility very seriously and we are able to use our understanding of the law to effectively and efficiently administer the trust.

When might I need Trust Administration Services?

  • A Loved One Passed Away Naming You the Trustee:  What are your responsibilities?  What should be your first steps?
  • A Loved One Who Was Trustee Passed Away:  Who will be in charge of the trust now?  What are the next legal and tax steps that need to be taken?  How will the assets in the trust be distributed?
  • Trustee Issues:  Are you concerned about who will take over as trustee of your trust in the future?
  • Mistreated Beneficiary:  What are your rights and options as a beneficiary who is not receiving your fair share?
  • Complaint about the Trustee:  Do you have any recourse against a trustee who is not fulfilling his/her duties?
  • A Trust for Minor Children:  How will you handle assets left for minor children?  How do you safeguard the assets left for minor children?  What are the legal obligations of a trustee of a trust for minor children?

Basic Trust ADMINISTRATION Services

Typical trust administration include:

  • Investing the trust assets
  • Changing trustees (trustee resignation or death and new trustee acceptance)
  • Handling legal obligations to beneficiaries and IRS
  • Accounting of trust assets
  • Disbursing funds according to trust terms
  • Tax filings
  • Terminating a trust

Additional Trust ADMINISTRATION Services

Certain situations require other services:

  • Contested trusts
  • Trusts that have been improperly administered to-date
  • Changing trust terms
  • Handling real estate held within a trust

Contact Steiner Law Offices today for help with Trusts – Get started now

Contact us for personal and professional help with Trusts. We offer this to clients in Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice, Florida, including Sarasota County and Manatee County.