Trusts and Estates are governed under two completely separate sections of the Florida Statutes. All assets owned individually or jointly by a decedent (someone who has died), become part of their “Estate”. A Trust is a legal document that can be funded or unfunded as of the date of death of the decedent. Assets held in a Trust are conveyed pursuant to the terms of the Trust document in accordance with Florida Statutes. Whereas, assets owned solely by the decedent are typically required to go through probate. It is also possible that jointly held assets, like homestead property, may be required to go through probate. Both Trusts and Estates are also subject to Federal tax laws. Speak with your attorney if you have questions regarding the distribution of assets of a decedent.
– Emily A. Helmick, Esq.