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Tampa Estate Planning Attorney > Blog > Estate Planning > Guide to Transferring Assets to Your Loved Ones in Florida

Guide to Transferring Assets to Your Loved Ones in Florida


What’s good about the wealth you have accrued if you cannot share and pass it down to your loved ones? If you are one of those people looking for ways to transfer assets to your loved ones in the most efficient way possible, there are certain things you need to know.

The way you choose to transfer your assets decides how much the intended person actually receives. There are quite a few legalities and taxation involved in every property or asset transfer that must be carefully looked into to avoid bearing any extra costs.

So, understanding the laws behind transferring assets is necessary to make a successful asset transfer. Your estate planning attorney can help you understand your options completely.

Types of Asset Transfers

Asset transfers can happen in two circumstances. The first one being when the individual wants to transfer his/her assets during their lifetime and the latter being transfer of assets in the event of their death. The arrangements for asset transfer for the two cases differ a lot.

Transferring Assets During One’s Lifetime

When you are still living and would like to share some or all of your assets to your friends, family, or a trust, you can follow any of the methods given below.

  • Gifts
  • Setting up an irrevocable trust
  • Establishing a minor’s account at a bank or financial institution, for transfers to minors

Gifts are the easiest way to transfer assets. Once you give an asset to the intended receiver, you will no longer hold ownership in the legal documents for the asset. You have given it away for free.

Irrevocable trusts are an advanced technique typically used for individual with higher net worths or more complicated life circumstances. Some advantages of an irrevocable trust include the following:

  • Controlling and protecting assets from creditors
  • Management of assets on behalf of minor or incapacitated beneficiaries

You should appoint a trusted person or professional fiduciary as the trustee and see that the assets are distributed as per your instructions. An irrevocable trust can also be used to transfer assets at death.

Minor’s accounts at banks and financial institutions are a convenient way to gift assets to minors without the time and expense of using trusts. You establish the account and name yourself or someone else as account custodian. You are limited in terms of how the money in the minor’s account is spent, and your kids have the right to withdraw the account funds at a certain age, so these accounts may not meet your needs despite the ease of establishing them.

Transfer of Assets After Death

The most common way of transferring assets after one’s death is through a will. In the absence of a will, the state’s intestacy laws will mandate the transfer of property and assets. Both these processes will put your assets under a probation period which could be long and make it harder for relatives and heirs to get their share of assets.

Another common way of transferring assets at death is through a living trust, which is somewhat similar to forming a business entity. The living trust owns and controls your assets during your lifetime, with you as trustee so that you maintain total control while you are alive. The living trust can be a beneficiary of life insurance policies, IRAs, and other assets that have beneficiary designations. Upon your death, your successor trustee distributes your assets according to your wishes.

Setting up trust is a strategy you can use to avoid the probate process. Trust substitutes will make use of a legal team or an advisor to make sure your properties and assets are shared as stated by your will.

You can also make use of tools like insurance payouts with proper nominations, rules of survivorship, Pay on Death or Transfer on Death designations, savings bonds with nominee details, and retirement accounts to make sure your hard-earned money goes where you intend it to be. Take considerations on who you want to support and how long while designating your will and asset sharing process.

Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Today

If you have questions about transferring your assets to your loved ones, contact Tampa estate planning attorney David Toback today. We will answer your questions and help ensure that your final wishes are handled the way you would want.




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