Need Help Establishing a Trust in Jacksonville?

Owenby Law, P.A. Is Ready to Guide You Through the Process

Sometimes a simple will is not enough to accomplish the wishes of a testator with regard to his or her estate. For instance, if the parent of a minor child dies before that child reaches adulthood, typically the other parent will assume all responsibility for that child. But what happens if both parents are killed in the same accident and the child is left parentless? Jacksonville estate planning lawyers will often form a trust or multiple trusts to achieve things that a will cannot. We at Owenby Law, P.A. can help you establish a trust that reflects your specific wishes.

The Basic Concept of a Trust

While there are many terms associated with trusts (testamentary, living, revocable, irrevocable, etc.), the basic concept involves the grantor selecting a third party, either the fiduciary or trustee, to manage funds for a beneficiary. For instance, a parent may select an uncle to manage a child's funds until he or she is old enough to take on the responsibility. The uncle is not able to use the funds for his personal needs.

The trust is used to meet the child's requirements, such as:

  • Education
  • Medical expenses
  • Transportation

Although the concept of a trust is simple, the documentation required to execute one should be prepared by an experienced attorney who is familiar with probate and estate planning. Our firm has more than a decade of experience in establishing trusts for Florida clients.

What Are the Benefits of Establishing a Trust?

A trust can serve several purposes. For instance, assets that are placed in a trust will not be subject to probate. By avoiding probate, your family and loved ones will not have to deal with the process of petitioning the court to take care of your estate. Also, by not having to probate an estate, a trust can provide a great deal of privacy as your estate plan is contained in the trust rather than a will, which would be subject to probate.

Some additional benefits of having a trust include:

  • Upon your passing, a trust can terminate and the remaining trust property can be distributed per your instruction.
  • Generally, a trustee would be responsible for managing the trust property, but you can designate yourself as trustee.
  • Should you become incapacitated, you can name a successor trustee to manage your financial affairs.

The Difference Between Trusts & Wills

Any property not in a trust can be disposed of in accordance with a will. The property disposed of by a will must be probated. Probate effectively transfers title of property from a decedent to a beneficiary, and the will designates which beneficiary receives what property. If you are unsure of how you want certain tangible property to be disposed of, a Separate Writing Memorandum can be completed after your will. However, it is important to remember that the list prepared in the Separate Writing Memorandum would not constitute a will or codicil to a will.

What Are the Tax Implications of Trusts?

Inheritance and estate taxes can be onerous. In addition to being a useful tool to estate planners, certain types of trusts can be used to legally shelter assets. With a living trust, the principle is transferred to the beneficiary while the grantor is still alive. Because of this, these assets are not taxed in probate. Owenby Law, P.A. can explain the various types of trusts and their tax implications. In addition, we can help you determine whether the trust that you establish should be revocable or non-revocable and the tax implications associated with this decision as well.


Want to learn more about the process of establishing a trust? Call a Jacksonville estate planning attorney at Owenby Law, P.A.