Whenever a new trust planning client retains the Law Office of Mitchell I. Kitroser, it is important pinpoint the individual’s exact wishes and goals, and to evaluate the person’s life circumstances to determine if the goals are in line with the individual’s best interests. Sometimes, individuals are not aware of all the legal options available in trust planning, so at our firm, we educate our clients on various types of trusts and the different legal strategies that are appropriate for their needs. In this regard, one area that often requires explanation is the difference between revocable and irrevocable trusts.
Revocable trusts are the most common form of trust in estate planning. These documents can — for the most part — replace a traditional will. They can also be changed and/or updated at any time during the revocable trust creator’s life. Best of all, though, the trust creator will continue to have access to his or her money. The benefits of a revocable trust are numerous. They include:
— Eliminating the need for probate proceedings
— Making a smooth plan of transition during times of incapacitation or after death
— Having access to the money inside the trust
— The ability to edit and revise the trust at any time.
An irrevocable trust is another type of legal document that is used to take away an individual’s ownership of certain assets. This can help estate planners bypass estate taxes for their family members. By removing ownership of assets, individuals may also be able to qualify for government medical benefits without first spending the inheritances of their heirs. Irrevocable trusts are commonly used in elder law and Medicaid planning arrangements.
Depending on a Palm Beach resident’s financial, life and family circumstances, there may be different kinds of revocable and/or irrevocable trusts that suit his or her estate planning needs. The Law Office of Mitchell I. Kitroser is always available to answer any questions about trust and estate planning in Florida