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Developing A Trust That Works For You

When creating an estate plan, it is important to understand all your options to maximize your asset protection and preserve your wishes. At Hedman & Wooten, P.A., we help clients throughout Brevard County, Florida, make informed decisions about how to protect assets through estate planning. We seek to help you create the plan that ensures your intentions are preserved and carried out.

Understanding Trusts

Unlike a will, which must go through probate, a trust administers assets outside of court through the use of a trustee. Most trusts are used to manage property during your lifetime, whereas a will only goes into effect once you have passed on. Our Brevard County trust attorneys can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of different trusts, including:

  • Living trusts — Assets within a living trust can be managed and modified during your lifetime by the designated trustee.
  • Irrevocable trusts — These trusts cannot be changed or modified once in effect and are often used to minimize tax obligations or for personal and business reasons.
  • Irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs) — A form of irrevocable trust, an ILIT can minimize estate taxes on life insurance policies.
  • Special-needs trusts — A special-needs trust or “supplemental needs trust” preserves the assets of those with special needs and maintains their ability to continue receiving government benefits should their parent or legal guardian become incapacitated or die.
  • Guardianship — Similar to a trust, a guardianship protects legal settlement funds for minors who were involved in a serious accident resulting in a favorable personal injury settlement.

Is A Trust Or Will More Beneficial?

Many people prefer trusts to wills in the belief that trusts help them avoid probate, minimize estate taxes and maintain confidentiality, and give them more control over their assets while living. However, many effective estate plans incorporate a variety of documents, including several different trusts, a will, durable powers of attorney, health care directives and other estate documents.

Our lawyers take time to listen to your unique concerns and review your situation to develop an estate plan that works for you. We can help you consider the pros and cons of each of your options and frame the issues properly so as to protect your assets and achieve your goals.

To discuss your circumstances in more detail, contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced lawyers.