A revocable trust — also known as a living trust — is a legal arrangement in which a person known as the trustee manages property that is being held to benefit another individual, known as the beneficiary. In a revocable trust, the trustee controls the property inside the trust; however, the trustee is also bound to fulfill his or her fiduciary obligations to the trust. In other words, the trustee must act in accordance with and for the best interest of the overarching goal of the trust — which in most cases is to preserve the property inside it for the beneficiary.
Another useful term in the world of revocable trusts is the term “grantor.” The grantor is the person who creates the trust and puts his or her property into it. In many cases, the grantor will select him or herself to be the trustee of the trust in order to ensure the safety of its content. In the case of a revocable trust, the grantor will also retain the right to cancel the trust whenever he or she wants and that is why it is called a “revocable trust.”
One of the most useful aspects of a revocable trust is the fact that an individual can include his or her unique terms and instructions inside the document. As such, by creating a trust, individuals can create many unique arrangements to be carried out following their deaths — such as a special kind of trust that is intended to finance the care for one’s pet, for example. A living trust also allows one’s heirs to sidestep costly and complicated probate proceedings. Finally, in some circumstances a complex living trust can be devised that serves to limit estate tax liabilities.
By consulting with an estate planning attorney, Florida residents can decide if a revocable trust is right for their needs and how one might be devised to carry out their wishes and goals following their deaths.
Source: FindLaw, “Living Trust Information” Sep. 04, 2014