Have you wondered whether to add a trust to your estate plan? Are you hesitant because you have heard that sometimes a trust will fail? On the other hand, did you know that trusts are often considered one of the most useful estate planning instruments? For example: They can keep an estate out of probate. They can be utilized for tax planning purposes. They can be used as a vehicle for long-term care planning by structuring a person’s assets in a way that makes him or her eligible for Medicaid to cover the expense of a nursing home. However, we are aware that trusts may also fail. That is why we would like to share with you three of the top reasons why a trust may fail.
1. Failure to fund. Is a trust complete once it is drafted and signed? Absolutely not! The trust must now be funded. All of the assets described in the trust should be moved into the trust in order for the trust to be funded. Unfortunately, the trust’s beneficiaries may find that they will not receive anything from the trust because it was never funded.
Be aware that this means that the trust must hold title to all of the assets. This involves changing the deed on the home, the title to cars, boats, RV’s, the ownership of bank accounts and stock certificates intended to be transferred into the trust. So do not forget, even though funding a trust is a critical step in properly establishing a trust, it is also one that may be overlooked.
2. Failure to update. It is very important to know that a trust is not a document that is created and then placed in a drawer or safety deposit box. Whenever there is a significant life change, such as the birth or death of a loved one, a divorce or a remarriage, or even the death of your trustor, a trust should be updated or, at least, reviewed. All life events can impact who inherits from your estate.
3. Failure to reflect current law. Because the laws on trust and estates may change, you should have your trust reviewed. Your trust may have been drafted under one set of laws, but there may be new or updated laws at the time of your passing, which have the potential to invalidate portions of your trust. The best solution to this problem would be to work with a Florida estate planning attorney. He can provide periodic bulletins regarding significant changes in the law, which can alert you to the need to have your trust revised. Make it a point to have your trust periodically reviewed by your Floria estate planning attorney to assure that it is supported by current law.
Our office is here to help you navigate the legal issues related to seeking and covering the cost of memory care. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.