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What is a Trust, & Do I Need One?

Video Script Below

What is a trust, and do I need one? I’m Steve Kramer. I’m a Florida estate planning and trust attorney. And the topic today are trusts. And now, if you were doing some estate planning, one of the things you might want to consider is called a ‘revocable living trust.’ And what that means is that you’ve set forth an estate plan that’s really designed to save your family money. See when you have a will, that will is a set of instructions for the court to follow in a probate. The thing about a probate is this: A probate can take a little while. A probate goes in front of a judge, and your family files documents and hire an attorney, and there’s a personal representative appointed, and there’s notice that goes to the creditors. The creditors come in and they can make claims. And then there’s an accounting, and there’s a multitude of steps. And at the end of that process, your family finally gets the money. And if you tuned out there, well, I’m not surprised because it’s a very complicated and convoluted process. It’s a very public process. You actually put notice in the newspaper. And this is a time when your family wants to grieve and mourn and you don’t necessarily want your business on display for your neighbors. And that’s what probate is: it’s a public process that’s complicated, and it can take a while. It can be a year before the money finally gets to your family. Right? And there can be costs. It costs a lot to do a probate. Some attorneys take a percentage, some take a significant fee. And it’s an opportunity for creditors to come in and make claims. And lastly, when you file it – when you have a probate – you lose control over the process. What a trust is designed to do is to avoid that process. Instead of going through probate and taking a year, if you have a trust and you die, it’s like filling up a cup with all of your assets. And the moment you die, that cup transfers to your heirs and now it’s theirs. And there’s no probate involved. And there is some limited administration, but it’s nothing close, and what it gives you is control. What it saves you is time. What it saves you is money. And if you’ve got any kind of assets that you might want to consider passing on in probate, well, then it’s time to at least look and consider a trust. I’m telling you this because the goal here is to save your family headache, heartache and money. And that’s what can be accomplished through your trust. And I tell you right now, not everybody needs a trust. Not everybody needs it. And I’m not here to push you into a trust if you don’t need it. But you should at least be armed with the information so that you know whether you do or not, whether it can benefit your family or not. And if you’re wondering, give me a call. I’d love to talk to you about this. Thanks for watching, I’m Steve Kramer.

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