Tag: changing revocable trusts

Why a Florida Prenup Should Be at the Top of Your Estate Planning To Do List

Were you aware that a Florida prenup can be a useful tool in estate planning? While most people assume that prenuptial agreements are only used to protect assets in the event of divorce, this is far from the only reason why many engaged couples choose to create one. 

Couples can use a Florida prenup to designate which assets should be considered separate property, and which are community or shared property. Making this distinction before marriage can prevent separate assets from being wrongly classified as community property when a spouse dies. This may be particularly useful for second or subsequent marriages, or for those who are marrying later in life or who have accumulated significant assets prior to the marriage. In some states, marriage entitles each spouse to a share of your estate (between a third to a half, depending on where you live). If you intend to leave less than that amount to your spouse, he or she has the power to request a higher percentage, which can leave your intended beneficiaries with less. 

Another reason why many couples choose to have a prenuptial agreement is to avoid disputes about money or property during the marriage. For a prenuptial agreement to be valid and legally binding, both parties must fully disclose their assets, properties, and debts in the agreement. Due to their financial picture being clear, there are fewer disagreements about how to manage their assets. 

Another common instance where a Florida prenup may be useful may be in the case of a closely-held family business. Often, business owners require only family members to be owners of the business and its holdings. If during a divorce, the business is determined to be partially owned by both spouses, the non-familial spouse could end up being an owner. In order to alleviate that situation, restrictions could be placed in the business’s agreements, or by transferring ownership of the business to a trust. A prenuptial agreement that describes the business as separate property and sets forth the rights and restrictions on ownership, however, would be another layer of protection for the business. 

Do you have questions on a Florida prenup and using it in your estate planning? Please contact our law practice to learn more. We are here for you. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties.

 

Making changes to your revocable trust

A revocable trust clearly states where your property should go after you die, helping family members avoid probating your will. But what happens if you want to change that trust? Should you amend it or start over? The general rule of thumb is if you want to make just one or two changes, then making an amendment is the best way to go. Simple changes allow you to make sure your wishes are fulfilled. Anne Desormier-Cartwright of Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys PA says, “Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast rule “when it comes to amending or restating a revocable trust. “It’s like a recipe card that you’ve used over and over. “If you make a change or two to the recipe, “you’ll still get a great dish. “The more you change, the more confusing the recipe becomes “and you may have a disaster on your hands.” In that case, you may want to consider creating a new document from scratch, taking into consideration which loved ones will get which possessions. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused when talking about your revocable trust, but there is help and guidance available to you. Anne Desormier-Cartwright and the attorneys at Elder and Estate Planning PA have the experience it takes to make this process easy. Contact them today at 888-933-9992 or visit elderlawyersfl.com