Panama City Trust Lawyer
Assisting Clients in Panama City, Florida
A trust is an estate-planning tool that can replace or supplement a client's last will and testament. It can also help an individual manage property during their lifetime. In a trust, a person's property is managed and ultimately distributed according to its terms. A trust can be intact for an extremely long time, and the terms of administration [the content governing the trustee(s)] can be as ridged or as flexible and the situation demands. Trusts are often an appropriate choice when constructing an estate plan.
Florida law imposes certain responsible on trustees. It is not uncommon for a named trustee to need advice and assistance with the proper administration their trust. It is always a good idea to have a competent professional to review your situation and to make sure that a trustee is acting properly. This is true whether that person is a beneficiary or the trustee.
If you live or work in the Panama City area and you are interested in discussing the benefits and issues surrounding the use or administration of a trust, I will be glad to meet with you. As a Panama City trust attorney with extensive knowledge in estate tax law, estate planning, probate, and wills, I have the tools needed to ensure that your trust is optimally designed and or administered to meet your needs.
- Testamentary Trust- A testamentary trust involves the transfer of property into the trust only after the grantor of the trust has deceased. A testamentary trust is commonly specified in a will. This type of trust allows the grantor to delineate conditions for the benefits to be disbursed and may allow payments of benefits to spread out over a period of time.
- Living Trust- A living trust begins during the life of the grantor and may be designed to continue after his or her death. This type of trust may help to avoid probate if all assets are included in the trust before the grantor dies. Trusts may be revocable, which means the grantor may change the terms of the trust any time after it's created, or irrevocable, which means that the terms cannot be changed.
Would you like to discuss the formation of a trust? Contact Panama City trust lawyer Max W. McCord III to get started on the creation of your trust.
What are some of the benefits of conducting business through a legal entity?
One of the most important benefits is the protection of your personal assets against the claims of creditors. Generally speaking, directors, officers, managers, members, and stockholders (the interested parties) are not held personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business entity. The interested parties should be limited in their personal liability to the amount invested in the company. Another legal benefit is the transferability of ownership, which can be done either in whole or in part. Also, some estate tax planning options are only available to business entities. Retirement funds, such as 401ks may be established more easily. Also, a business entity can acquire and establish its own credit rating.
What are some of the mistakes people make when going into business?There are always risks involved in going into business. As most people know, a majority of small businesses do not succeed in the long run. Mistakes of new business owners may include the lack of a realistic business plan, underestimating costs and tax liabilities, and unfavorable business contracts/agreements. Even more problematic is a failure to understand the business or the marketplace, underestimating the competition, and/or not being effective at managing a business. Responsibility for these latter areas ultimately falls to the owners, but sound legal advice can substantially improve the chances of success.
How can I be protected from liability claims that arise from my business?
Generally speaking, business owners doing business as limited liability companies, corporations, or limited partnerships do not have personal liability for the obligations or debts of the business. This assumes that no personal guarantees have been executed. If the business has been properly created, it is a separate legal entity. The details of formation are important, and the filing fees must be paid. If properly created and maintained, the assets owned by the business should be the only ones that are subject to debt or other liability considerations.