What Does Putting A House In Trust Mean?

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Putting A House In Trust Mean

Putting a House in Trust in Florida

Putting a house in trust in Florida involves the strategic transfer of property ownership into a trust, often a revocable living trust. This legal arrangement is a powerful tool in estate planning and offers a range of benefits for property owners and their heirs. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the intricacies of putting a house in trust in Florida, its advantages, the legal process, and the considerations involved.

Understanding Trusts

Before delving into the specifics of putting a house in trust, it’s essential to understand what a trust is and how it operates.

A trust is a legal entity that holds and manages assets on behalf of one or more beneficiaries. The person who creates the trust is known as the grantor or settlor. Trusts are administered by a trustee who is responsible for managing the assets according to the terms of the trust document. Trusts can serve various purposes, including asset protection, estate planning, and minimizing estate taxes.

Types of Trusts

In the context of putting a house in trust, revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts are the two primary options to consider:

1. Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust is a popular choice for estate planning in Florida. Here’s how it works:

  • The grantor creates the trust and retains full control of the assets placed within it.
  • The grantor can make changes to or revoke the trust during their lifetime.
  • Assets held in the trust avoid probate upon the grantor’s passing, leading to a faster and more private transfer of property to beneficiaries.
  • While the grantor is alive and mentally competent, they typically serve as the trustee, managing the trust’s assets.
  • Upon the grantor’s death or incapacity, a successor trustee, named in the trust document, takes over and follows the trust’s instructions for asset distribution.

Revocable living trusts are versatile and provide flexibility, making them an excellent choice for many Florida homeowners who want to avoid probate and maintain control over their assets.

2. Irrevocable Trust

Irrevocable trusts are another option, but they differ significantly from revocable living trusts:

  • Once assets are transferred into an irrevocable trust, the grantor typically cannot make changes or revoke the trust without the consent of the beneficiaries.
  • Irrevocable trusts offer potential estate tax benefits, asset protection, and can serve specific charitable or Medicaid planning purposes.
  • These trusts are often used for more complex estate planning scenarios, and they require careful consideration due to their permanent nature.

Advantages of Putting a House in Trust

Now that we’ve explored the types of trusts available, let’s delve into the advantages of putting a house in a trust in Florida:

1. Avoiding Probate

One of the primary reasons individuals choose to put their house in a trust is to avoid probate. Probate is the legal process of validating a will and administering an estate, and it can be time-consuming and costly. Transferring the property to a trust can bypass probate, ensuring a quicker and more efficient transfer of the property to beneficiaries.

2. Privacy

Probate proceedings are a matter of public record, meaning that the details of your property and its distribution become accessible to the public. In contrast, assets held in trusts remain private. This confidentiality can be crucial for those who prefer to keep their financial affairs discreet.

3. Control and Flexibility

With a revocable living trust, you retain full control of your assets during your lifetime. You can make changes, amend the trust, or even revoke it entirely if your circumstances or wishes change. This level of control and flexibility sets trusts apart from other estate planning tools.

4. Incapacity Planning

In the event that you become incapacitated and are unable to manage your property, the successor trustee named in your trust document can step in. This ensures that your property continues to be managed according to your wishes without the need for a court-appointed guardian.

5. Minimizing Estate Taxes

For larger estates, estate taxes can be a significant concern. Trusts can be part of a comprehensive estate tax strategy, potentially reducing the overall estate tax liability. In Florida, there is no state estate tax, but federal estate tax considerations may apply.

6. Creditor Protection

Assets held in revocable living trusts may offer some level of protection from creditors. While the extent of this protection can vary, it can provide a shield for your property in certain situations, adding an extra layer of security.

7. Efficient Property Transfer

Upon your passing or incapacity, the successor trustee can quickly and efficiently transfer the property to beneficiaries, avoiding the potential delays associated with the probate court process. This can be especially valuable for ensuring that your loved ones have timely access to your property.

The Legal Process of Putting a House in Trust

Now that you understand the benefits of putting a house in trust let’s explore the legal steps involved:

1. Consultation with an Attorney

The first step is to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney in Florida. Your attorney will assess your specific situation, goals, and assets to determine the most suitable type of trust and tailor it to your needs.

2. Drafting the Trust Document

Your attorney will draft the trust document, which outlines the terms and conditions of the trust, including the disposition of your property, the appointment of trustees, and any specific instructions you have.

3. Transferring the Property

To put your house in the trust, you will need to transfer ownership of the property into the trust’s name. This typically involves preparing and executing a deed that conveys the property to the trust. Your attorney will guide you through this process, ensuring that it complies with Florida’s legal requirements.

4. Funding the Trust

Funding the trust involves transferring other assets, such as bank accounts, investments, and personal property, into the trust. This ensures that these assets are also governed by the trust’s terms and avoid probate.

5. Appointment of Trustees

You will need to appoint a trustee or co-trustees who will manage the trust’s assets. You will likely serve as the initial trustee, retaining control during your lifetime. Upon your passing or incapacity, the successor trustee(s) will step in to administer the trust.

6. Updating and Reviewing the Trust

It’s essential to keep your trust up to date to reflect any changes in your circumstances or wishes. Your attorney can assist with reviewing and updating the trust document when necessary.

Consult with an Experienced Attorney

Putting a house in trust is a significant step in estate planning, and seeking guidance from an experienced attorney in Florida is crucial. Your attorney will ensure that the trust is created correctly, complies with state laws, and serves your beneficiaries’ best interests.

For expert guidance on putting a house in trust in Florida or for any estate planning needs, contact Morgan Legal Group, a trusted Miami-based law firm specializing in estate planning.


Putting a house in a trust in Florida offers numerous advantages, including avoiding probate, maintaining privacy, retaining control, and providing for efficient property transfer. By consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney and carefully considering your options, you can create a solid plan that aligns with your goals and ensures the protection and distribution of your assets according to your wishes.

For expert legal assistance with estate planning and putting a house in trust, contact Morgan Legal Group, Miami’s trusted law firm.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The content of this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments. No attorney-client relationship is formed by reading this blog or contacting Morgan Legal Group PLLP.

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