A trust can protect assets and real property so that beneficiaries can enjoy your legacy after you are gone. But what if you decide your existing trust is no longer needed? Unlike a will, which can be rendered void through destruction of the document, revoking a trust is a different story, and requires the guidance of a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer in Florida.
What is a revocable trust?
A revocable trust is a legal document you create to protect and manage assets during your lifetime and in the event of your disability. Then, after your death, you can specify how trust assets are to be distributed to the beneficiaries you choose. You can appoint a trustee to manage the trust, or you may serve as the trustee. The trust is revocable because you have the option of terminating or making changes to the trust at any time as long as you are not disabled or incapacitated.
Ways to revoke a trust
According to Florida Statute, unless the terms of the trust specifically set forth the document is irrevocable, the Trustmaker (sometimes referred to as a settlor, trustor, or grantor) may revoke or modify the trust. In the recent case of Bernal v. Marin (2016), the court found three (3) ways for a Trustmaker to revoke a revocable trust in Florida:
- Full compliance with a method provided in the terms of the trust; or if the trust does not provide a method, by:
- A later Last Will that expressly references the trust or explicitly devises the property that would otherwise have passed according to the terms of the trust; or
- Any other method that manifests clear and convincing evidence of the settlor’s intent
Revocation of a trust can only be done by the Trustmaker. If you are unsure how to revoke or amend a trust, consult with an experienced and board certified estate lawyer. Your attorney can help you achieve your goals. Additionally, your legal counsel can assist you in re-titling assets owned by the trust.
Central Florida revocable trust lawyers
At the Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan, we help Florida residents with trusts, wills, guardianships and other aspects of the estate planning process.For more information about revocable trusts in Central Florida call (407) 977-8080 today, or contact us online to speak with an experienced and board certified estate planning attorney.