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Legal Q&A: Executing a Valid Revocable Living Trust in Florida

How do I execute a Trust?

A Declaration of Trust is executed similarly to a Last Will

& Testament in Florida. The Trust must be signed by both Grantor’s, known as Settlors under the Florida Trust Code. The Settlor’s must execute the document in front of a Florida Notary Public. The document must also be signed in front of two witnesses, who sign the document in the presence of each other.

How can I make copies of my Trust?

An executed Trust can be copied and provided to financial and other institutions; however a Certificate of Trust is probably best for the Settlor. A Certificate of Trust must be notarized and signed by both Settlors however, their privacy is preserved. Trust beneficiaries are not required to be disclosed in Florida to a third party and a Certificate of Trust ensures privacy with Florida’s very broad public record laws. The trust can be filed with the Florida county court.

How do I transfer property into a Living Trust?

All the property is going to be transferred whether you own a title to the property or not. For instance, you may have the Deed to your home; however you may not have a title to certain jewelry you wish to place in your trust. A Trust is effective when it has property or res transferred to the Trust. If you are transferring property in Florida that requires a Deed or Title, the property must be titled to the Trust. If you are the Trustee for your own Trust, it is important to transfer property properly to yourself as Trustee, to ensure your property transferred properly. An Assignment of Property serves to transfer property that does not have a title. This document must be signed by the Grantors.

Do I need a Deed for every property I am transferring into my Florida Trust?

Yes, however in most cases a Quit Claim Deed can be drafted and recorded to the Trust. What powers and duties are granted to a Trustee?

In Florida, the Trust Code allows a Trustee to have the power to:

  • Sell Trust Property

  • Manage Property in the Trust

  • Conduct Banking and Financial Transactions for Trust Property

  • Invest Trust Property

  • Hire professional help such as Lawyers, Accountants & Financial Experts.

  • Carry on Business Affairs for the Trust

Can a Florida Trust be revoked under the Florida Trust Code?

A Living Trust can be revoked in Florida by simply filing a Trust Revocation document. The document should be signed by the Settlor, after transferring all property out of the Florida Trust. The Revocation should be signed in front of a Florida Notary Public and two witnesses. The document should then be stored with the Original Florida Trust.

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