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New Study On Trusts vs. Wills Enlightening For Florida Residents

Most Florida residents know that various documents have become an important part of the estate planning process. While wills continue to have a role, many locals see trusts as an effective way of avoiding the cumbersome probate process. Now, a new international study suggests that this American model is being followed overseas as well.

Of licensed estate planners across several countries, over half have advised clients to use a trust instead of a will. Still, many of the advisors said that having both documents in place is vital to an effective estate plan. Domestically, it is no different.

Wills are important documents that direct an individual's asset distribution upon their death. Trusts meanwhile exist independently of the individual. As a result, assets validly transferred into a trust remain trust assets whether or not the creator of the trust is alive.

While the concepts are simple, the applications of these two documents to varying tax laws, probate laws, family dynamics and asset structures is often complicated. As a result, those considering a will or a trust or possibly both are encouraged to contact a professional to help draft these instruments.

These professionals can explain the pros and cons of various options. From irrevocable trusts to powers of attorney to pour-over wills, local estate planning professionals can help Floridians get all their ducks in a row.

While many put off estate planning until later in life, those that engage in the process early often find that it helps motivate them professionally. Those waiting until they are older, on the other hand, promote the peace of mind having an estate plan can provide. No matter your age, having an estate plan is a prudent financial decision and can be completed and modified at any age.

Source: International Advisor, "Trusts rival wills for certainty and protection: study," Simon Danaher, Feb. 14, 2014

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