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Florida Case Driving New Estate Planning Trend

Like anything else, estate planning in Florida is in a constant state of evolution. Those involved in the process are constantly striving to make the administration of a loved one’s estate better. As a result, new methods for estate planning are popping up around the country. Driven by new taxes, changes to preexisting laws, or simply creativity, the strategies employed even five-years ago may be outdate for today’s environment.

One of the big issues confronting planners today is the notion of a discretionary interest. A recent Florida court decision fanned the fire with its own take on whether such interests may be reached by the creditor of a beneficiary.

As many people know, it is common for an individual to set up a trust for the benefit of a loved one, a child or grandchild for instance. The trust may have the secondary benefit of protecting the beneficiary against his or her own immature or irresponsible spending. By authorizing a third-party to act as trustee, the beneficiary may only access such funds as directed by the trust. Therefore, an individual can decide to release funds for a kid’s education, but not for a new sports car and weekend in Vegas.

Nevertheless, the beneficiary may still get into money problems leading creditors to come after any and all assets which may be available. This would include the beneficiary’s interest in the trust. Whether the creditor can successfully breach the walls of the trust and secure its assets, though, depends on how the trust is drafted and carried out.

Local Lee lawyers specialize in creating such instruments to protect a family’s assets. They know how to generate estate planning documents which meet the intentions of their clients. From protecting young beneficiaries from their own immaturity to guarding family assets from exposure to a risky family business, local estate planning attorneys can give individuals peace of mind when it comes to passing down their wealth.

Source: Wealthmanagement.com, “What’s Trending in the Estate Planning World,” Al King, July 24, 2014

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