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John Elder
John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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I am a resident of Florida, married, with grown-up children.

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I am a resident of Florida, married, with grown-up children. I would like to establish a Living Trust in Florida with ONLY MYSELF as the (SOLE) TRUSTEE (and TRUSTOR). I plan to name my WIFE (a citizen of a european country) and/or my CHILDREN as the SECONDARY TRUSTEES following my death or incapacity. I do NOT plan to include my wife's properties (outside of the U.S.A.) in the Living Trust. Does Florida law allow ME to be the SOLE TRUSTEE (and TRUSTOR) of such a Living Trust? How much would it cost to prepare such a Trust document (by a lawyer)? Or can I prepare it myself using a do-it-yourself Kit?
Thank you very much for your kind advice on this matter.
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

You certainly can be the trustee and trustor of a Revocable Living Trust. This type of trust is typical but does not offer any creditor protection. The trust, and all it's assets, are still considered your assets until your death. This type of trust is used mostly to avoid the probate system at your death. Any assets in the name of the trust at your death will pass outside of probate. If you are looking for more protection let me know your goals and I will give you options.

You should get an attorney to assist you with setting up this type of trust. The cost is likely in the $1,500 - $2,500 range. I would highly advise against using a form, online or do it yourself kit. These will not assure that what you have set up will accomplish your goals. Only sitting down with an attorney and explaining your situation will assure that you are getting documents and a plan to meet your goals.

I cannot provide you with legal advise. I have provided you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you find online, should not take the place of having a consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is what you say TRUE also for COMMON PROPERTY STATES (like California) or is it true in ALL STATES of the Union? I realize that a Living Trust does not provide protection from creditors, though it does allow by passing Probate. Isn't there ALSO a TAX ADVANTAGE? Are there other advantages? Is there a Living Trust that ALSO provides protection from creditors? What is it called?


Thank you very much for your help.

The statements are true for ALL STATES. In some states that have Estate taxes there are Tax Advantages. Some other advantages of a revocable living trust are privacy, some simplification of the transfer of assets at death.

There is a trust that will protect from creditors. It is an Irrevocable Living Trust. Generally you are not going to be able to be the trustee of that type of trust. There are Specific creditor protection trusts in Alaska, Nevada and Delaware. Those trusts require the trustee to be corporate and located in those states.
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