Florida Trusts

Florida Trusts: Background

A trust is an entity into which the Settlor places assets in the hands of the Trustee, who manages and controls the trust corpus.  A trust is established for the benefit of the beneficiaries, who can be the Settlor of the trust, and also for the benefit of others, often spouses, children, and other beneficiaries.

Types of Trusts

Revocable trusts: also known as a living trust, or a revocable living trust. The settlor can revoke the trust during the settlor’s lifetime.

Irrevocable trusts: typically trusts over which the Settlor gives up the right to distribution from the trust.  These can include Dynasty trusts, Life Insurance trusts, and similar types of trusts.

Distributions from the Trust

If the trust is a Revocable Trust, while the Settlor is alive, the Settlor can pretty much do as the Settlor pleases, such as distribute any amount from the trust to anyone including the Settlor.

When the Settlor is still alive but no longer the Trustee, the Trustee must follow the distribution pattern of the trust.  Typically, while the Settlor is alive, all distributions may be made only to or for the benefit of Settlor.  In some instances, the Settlor’s spouse is included as a beneficiary, and in other cases, the children of the Settlor are included as permissible beneficiaries.

After the death of the Settlor, the rules of distribution from the trust have their highest importance.  The first issue is whether the trust is fully distributed following the death of the Settlor, or the trust will be administered on an ongoing basis (“in further trust”). 

Management of the Trust

A trust is managed and controlled by the Trustee. The Trustee has a number of duties and obligations to the beneficiaries of the trust, including the Duty of Loyalty, a duty to administer the trust prudently, and an obligation to invest trust assets wisely. 

Trust Tax Issues

While a trust is revocable, the Settlor pays all income taxes generated by the trust.

Once a trust is not revocable, the trust pays tax, or the beneficiaries pay tax, depending on what was distributed out of the trust. 

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Complete Guide to Florida Probate

Opening the Probate Estate / Initial Steps
Payment of Creditors, Expenses And Beneficiaries
Florida Spousal and Family Rights
Closing the Probate Estate
Probate Litigation and Will Contests
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Complete Guide to Florida Probate

Opening the Probate Estate - Initial Steps
Payment of Creditors, Expenses And Beneficiaries
Florida Spousal and Family Rights

Find Your Florida Probate Star

Broward County (Ft. Lauderdale)

Natasha M. Dalton

Pasco County (Port Richey)

Matthew Weidner

Sarasota County

Dawn Bates-Buchanan

Palm Beach County

Nicole Quattrocchi

Duval County (Jacksonville)

Long H. Duong

St. Lucie County

Romaine Brown

Orange County (Orlando)

Philip W. Gunthert

Marion County (Ocala)

Katina Pantazis

Pinellas County (Clearwater)

Matthew Weidner

Collier County (Naples)

Gregory J. Nussbickel

Miami

Niuris Bezanilla

Hillsborough County (Tampa)

R. Todd Burbine

Volusia County (Daytona)

Heather Caeners

Martin County (Stuart)

Jon L. Martin

Lee County (Ft. Myers)

Scott Kuhn

Sumter County (The Villages)

Matthew Weidner

Polk County (Lakeland)

Lesly Vaillancourt

Manatee County

Brice Zoecklein