June 2015 Archives

In Florida, are assets protected from a Settlor's creditors if held in a Living Trust?

Florida estate planning attorneys are often asked whether assets held in a Living Trust, also known as a Revocable Trust, are protected from the creditors of the Settlor of the Trust (i.e. the person who set it up). As with so many questions under the law, the answer is "It depends."

What does it mean when a Will or Trust leaves to a beneficiary "per stirpes"?

"Per stirpes" is a Latin term translated as "by the roots or by representation." In estate planning, the term is used to denote a method of dividing the estate of a person. A person who takes per stirpes, sometimes called by right of representation, does not inherit in an individual capacity but as a member of a group. 

Can a Living Trust Be Revoked?

An often-used estate planning tool is a type of trust known as a "Living Trust." Once this type of trust is established, clients often ask whether it can be revoked or amended. Unless something is said to the contrary in the trust instrument itself, the answer is an unequivocal "yes" so long as the person setting up the trust is alive and competant.

What is needed to remove a Trustee in Florida?

A trustee of a trust in Florida may be removed for reasons set forth in the trust instrument itself. For example, some trusts contain provisions allowing the beneficiaries to remove a trustee--usually by majority vote. In addition to the terms of the trust itself, Florida law provides some criteria for removing a trustee.

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