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  • Ryan J. Smollar

Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trust: Which Is Better In Florida?

Updated: Jan 19

Are you thinking about starting a trust for your relatives in the event of your death? You may be wondering about the difference between a revocable vs. irrevocable trust under Florida law. If these questions make you uncomfortable and you would rather not approach this subject right now, it’s understandable, and you certainly aren’t alone. At the same time, there is immeasurable peace of mind and reassurance that comes with planning for the future.


Unfortunately, death does not stop debtors from coming to collect. Setting up a revocable or irrevocable trust is not only to deter them but will also ensure that the right friends or relatives get what is bestowed to them according to your wishes.


Revocable vs. Irrevocable Trust in Florida

Revocable Trust


A revocable living trust is defined according to Fla. Stat. 736.0103(17), as a living trust that can be changed at any time by the settlor without the permission of the trustee or any other person holding an adverse interest. It may be amended, added to, or revoked, and canceled entirely.


What does this mean exactly?


This means that it is used as an estate handling tool to avoid the probate process. The estate’s privacy is continued after death and not made public record. This provides basic protection to the settlor while continuing to be revocable if things happen to change in the future.


Irrevocable Trust


An irrevocable trust is not able to be revoked after being established. Irrevocable trusts are written so that whoever is bestowed a part of the estate has a right to it indefinitely after signed by the settlor.


While it holds most of the same principles there are differences that make the two very appealing to some elderly individuals.


What Is the Difference?


Irrevocable trusts ensure that the individual who has bestowed the estate will receive it, protecting them from different creditors that look to satisfy whichever debts were left after death. This is written in only particular cases such as Medicaid income problems, protection for Medicaid benefits, special needs trusts, protecting assets from a nursing home, and life insurance trusts.


So why even contemplate getting a revocable living trust in Florida?


Well, situations and circumstances tend to change and feelings about people change as well. Tying oneself down to giving a person a special or large part of an estate can be risky. As time passes the individual may want to leave their estate to another person.


That is not to say that irrevocable trusts should not be used though. There are family members or loved ones who the person knows they want to receive a certain part of the estate. Do not be steered away by the risks and choose what is best for your given situation, with guidance from your estate attorney.


Take some time and contemplate which option is best for you. Life is a wonderous roller coaster that has many ups, downs, and loops. While it may sound like an excellent plan to put ink to paper today, it may not tomorrow. Consider your options and see what fits best for you. Make a list of who you want to give leave assets to and think about specifics. This will help guide your decisions.


It is however pertinent to put forth paperwork so that 1. Your estate does not linger in probate; and 2. Your family members are not left to fight over it.


These are complicated matters; for the guidance and advice you need for sound estate planning, do not hesitate to contact Elder Law P.A. Our knowledge and compassion protect your legacy.

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