Sometimes the legal terms used by lawyers to refer to the different persons associated with Florida trusts can be confusing. In an effort to better understand how Florida trusts function, it is helpful to be familiar with the players and understand their role in the grand scheme of things.
The grantor, also known as the settlor or the trustor, is the creator of the trust. There can be more than one grantor as in the case of a married couple that creates a trust together. The grantor dictates the terms of the trust and, in the case of a revocable trust, has the ability to cause the trust to be amended or revoked.
The trustee is an individual hand-picked by the grantor to manage the trust. The powers of the trustee vary based on the terms of the trust. The trustee and grantor in a revocable trust are typically one in the same. Conversely, with irrevocable trusts, the grantor and the trustee must be separate. All trusts typically appoint a successor trustee in the event that the trustee is unwilling or unable to fulfill its duties. If a successor trustee is not specifically appointed, the trust document will lay out a procedure detailing the manner in which the successor shall be chosen.
A trust protector is not a necessary party to a trust, but they are fairly commonplace these days. Effectively, the purpose of a trust protector is to ensure that the wishes of the grantor are respected by the trustee. The trust protector must be an independent third-party unrelated to the trustee and the beneficiaries. Some trusts will specifically appoint a trust protector while others will simply lay out the process by the trust protector may be selected.
The beneficiaries of a trust are those individuals who inherit assets or otherwise benefit from the terms of the trust. In some cases, the beneficiaries are finite and specifically named in the trust and in others the beneficiaries of a trust have yet to be born or named. For example, if a coupe creates a trust that includes “all of their children” as beneficiaries and then the couple has another child subsequent to the creation of the trust.
Give the West Palm Beach Wills, Trusts & Estates Attorneys at The Law Office of Ryan S. Shipp, PLLC a call @ 561.699.0399 to discuss your Florida estate planning needs or with questions regarding which trust is best suitable for you and your family. Our office is located in Lantana, Florida. We serve South Florida.
Like this Blog? Please see below links to our other Wills, Trusts & Estates Blog Posts
- Is A Florida Pour-Over Will Different Than A Regular Will?
- What are the duties and obligations of a trustee under Florida Law?
- What is a Florida Revocable Trust and Why is it important?
- Why is a Florida Last Will and Testament Important?
- Florida Special Needs Trusts
- Different Types of Florida Powers of Attorney
- Persons Associated with Florida Trusts
- Revocable vs Irrevocable Trust Florida