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Florida Trust Laws

Property has a tendency to build up throughout our lifetime. Although some of your property will have great monetary value to others, all of your property will need to find a new home after you reach your final resting place. Florida trust laws provide people with the ability to manage their property during their lives so that there is an easy transition after they pass. This is a quick summary of the trust laws in Florida.

Transferring Property With Ease Through Florida Trust Laws

Trusts are an estate planning tool that can either supplement or completely replace a will. While the basics of creating a trust can be fairly simple, Florida trust laws demand certain methods and creation requirements in order to make a trust valid. There are also various types of trusts that are available in the Sunshine State. This includes trusts where the beneficiary is a family member, a friend, a charity, or even a household pet.

The following table outlines the specifics of Florida trust laws.

Code Sections

Florida Statutes Chapter 736: Florida Trust Code

Creation Requirements

Florida trust laws state that a trust is created only if:

  • The settlor has capacity to create a trust.

  • The settlor indicates an intent to create the trust.

  • The trust has a definite beneficiary or is a charitable trust, a trust for the care of an animal, or a trust for a noncharitable purpose.

  • The trustee has duties to perform.

  • The same person is not the sole trustee and sole beneficiary.

Methods of Creating Trusts

A trust may be created by:

  • Transfer of property to another person as trustee during the settlor's lifetime or by will or other disposition taking effect on the settlor's death;

  • Declaration by the owner of property that the owner holds identifiable property as trustee; or

  • Exercise of a power of appointment in favor of a trustee.

Trust Purpose

Under Florida trust laws, a trust may be created only to the extent the purposes of the trust are lawful, not contrary to public policy, and possible to achieve. A trust and its terms must be for the benefit of its beneficiaries.

Charitable Trusts

A trust may be created for charitable purposes. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The relief of poverty;

  • The advancement of arts, sciences, education, or religion; and

  • The promotion of health, governmental, or municipal purposes.

Trust of the Care of Animals

According to Florida trust laws, a trust may be created to provide for the care of an animal alive during the settlor's lifetime. The trust terminates on the death of the last surviving animal named in the trust.

Determining where your property will go after you die is an important process during your lifetime. If you need legal assistance in creating a trust, you can contact a Florida trust lawyer through FindLaw. Visit FindLaw's sections on trusts and estate planning for more articles and information on this topic.

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