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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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Hi. I am thinking on re-doing my will to go with percentages

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Hi. I am thinking on re-doing my will to go with percentages to various people and organizations vs specific dollar amounts. Is a trust the way to go and if so do I set it up now? Thanks
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

A trust has three benefits all are because the probate system can be avoided if the trust is properly funded prior to your death by retitling your assets into the name of the trust:

  1. The probate system can be complex, requires a lawyer in FL and time consuming. This is avoided with a trust.
  2. The probate system can be expensive, particularly in FL. The cost can easily be tens of thousands of dollars. This is avoided with a trust.
  3. The probate system is entirely public. Anyone that wants to can request your probate file which will include a list of your assets. This avoided with a trust.


As I said, a trust only accomplishes these probate avoidance benefits if it is fully funded with all your assets prior to death. You still have a pour over will that transfers any assets that have not been retitled to your trust upon death. Any assets that pass through your pour over will do not avoid probate and are subject to the costs, complexity and publicity of probate.

Your decision to use percentages are generally a good decision. Specific dollar amounts can have an affect on your over all distribution to beneficiaries if your assets change dramatically prior to death.

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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