Most Floridians who engage in estate planning do so to protect their loved ones. Usually this means creating a will and trust to dictate how assets are to be left to a surviving spouse and children. Yet, estate planning isn't limited to these circumstances. In fact, many utilize trusts to further endeavors that they support, whether it be a business, an educational institution, or a nonprofit organization. Those who are interested in leaving a legacy of goodwill may, therefore, want to consider utilizing a charitable trust.
Generally speaking, a trust is a legal vehicle that allows an individual to pass assets on to another party, while often retaining a certain amount of control over those assets through the implementation of conditions. So, for example, an individual can create a trust that releases assets only upon a child enrolling in college or reaching a certain age. But, of course, giving to charity is about much more than simply persuading them to take certain actions.
In fact, there are many benefits to utilizing a charitable trust. To start, it can show other family members, including children, just how important giving can be. This can teach a valuable lesson that can last for generations. Also, charitable trusts have several tax advantages that can benefit an individual almost immediately. In addition, the creator of one of these trusts, or a named beneficiary, can still receive income from the trust, either through a specified dollar amount or a percentage of the trust's value at the time of dispersal.
Once assets are placed into most types of trusts, they cannot be removed. This means that Floridians need to carefully assess their estate planning options before delving into the creation of a trust. To avoid unwanted consequences and inadequate asset distribution upon death, Floridians should consider working closely with a legal professional to create a holistic estate plan that focuses on their goals.