Trusts

Trusts
A Trust may arise from a Will, but also may be a “stand-alone” document which is effective and useful during the life-time of the person who created the Trust (the person who created the Trust is alternatively referred to as “the Creator”, “the Settlor”, or “the Grantor.”) 

Living Trusts
Most Trusts which are effective during a Grantor’s lifetime are referred to as “Living Trusts.”  Nevertheless, such a Trust will contain testamentary provisions, much like a Will.  A big benefit of a “Living Trust” is that provision may be made for any period of time that the Grantor is not competent, including who will handle the Grantor’s Trust assets.  Such a Trust may direct that the Grantor be kept in his or her home or may direct that there need not be a Court proceeding to determine whether the Grantor is mentally competent.  In the absence of a Trust, or a Durable Power of Attorney, oftentimes a person who is not mentally competent becomes a Ward of  a Guardianship, subject to a Judge’s supervision over a Guardian appointed to make decisions for the person.  I have used the terms “competent” and “incompetent” in this paragraph so that the layperson may understand the concept, but in Florida, the correct terms are “has capacity” or “incapacitated.”

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