David Howard Goldberg, P.L.

Trusts can have more flexibility than some people think

Life commonly has unexpected elements, and it can be difficult to plan ahead knowing that anything is possible. Still, it is important that Florida residents try to account for their end-of-life wishes through estate planning. Fortunately, when individuals use trusts, they have options for accounting for the possibility of the unexpected.

First, it is important to appoint a trustee to a trust. This person will manage the trust and ensure that any instructions left behind by the decedent are followed. The trustmaker could also give the trustee discretion to make decisions regarding the distribution of trust assets as he or she sees fit. Of course, some people may not want to leave the entirety of control up the discretion of the trustee, and it is possible to leave specific details that limit the powers of the trustee.

Individuals could also utilize decanting of an irrevocable trust if the circumstances change. Essentially, decanting a trust means transferring assets of one trust into a new trust. The new trust could have updated terms that reflect new wishes of the trustmaker.

Some people may believe that trusts are not the best planning tools because they are often considered permanent, but individuals can work in some flexibility when planning. Florida residents who are working on their estate plans or wish to update their plans to include this planning tool may find it helpful to work with attorneys who can determine the best type of trust for a given situation. It may also allow individuals to feel more comfortable to discuss how to include as much flexibility as possible.

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