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Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C. Tampa Estate Planning & Probate Attorney
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Tampa Totten Trust Attorney

If you are looking for a way to transfer assets to your loved ones without going through probate, a Totten trust/POD bank account may be the solution you are looking for. The Tampa Totten trust attorneys at Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C. can help you set a Totten trust up for your loved ones, offer advice on how to fund the trust, and assist you with your other estate planning needs.

What is a Totten Trust? And is it a “Real” Trust?

A totten trust is simply a payable-on-death (POD) bank account; in fact, it is not a true trust. To create this type of bank account/trust, the grantor contacts their bank, fills out the necessary paperwork and names their chosen beneficiary of the assets, and places the funds in the new or existing totten trust. You, as the grantor of the trust/POD bank account, have the flexibility of adding or taking out those funds during your lifetime, adding or changing beneficiaries, or dissolving the account entirely.

Why You Might Want to Avoid Probate

Probate is the official process of proving a will in court, as well as the approval of the decedent’s named executor—the person responsible for locating estate assets, notifying and paying creditors, paying estate taxes if applicable, and distributing estate assets to named beneficiaries. Probate usually takes at least six months, though in more complex cases it takes over a year. As much as five percent of the estate assets can be used up during the probate process as well. Furthermore, assets that go through probate become part of the public record. For these reasons (saving time and money, and keeping family matters private), many people look for alternatives to probate. A Totten trust allows all of the assets within the trust to avoid probate. With a totten trust, when the decedent passes away, the beneficiary of the trust simply goes to the bank and collects the assets, avoiding the lengthy and public probate process entirely.

Benefits of a Totten Trust?

  • The assets within the Totten trust avoid probate
  • By avoiding probate, the assets within the Totten trust are available almost immediately to the beneficiary
  • Your beneficiary not only has immediate access to these funds after your death, but the trust is not part of the public record
  • Totten trusts are simple to create, manage, or dissolve
  • Totten trusts are inexpensive to create
  • You can make modifications during your lifetime to your Totten trust(s)

Call a Tampa Totten Trust Attorney Today

Quite possibly the only downside of a Totten trust/bank account is that you cannot control how or when the assets are distributed to the beneficiary, as opposed to a true trust. When you die, the assets are released to the beneficiary immediately. If this does not matter to you, a Totten trust certainly has benefits over going through probate or creating a true trust. Call the Tampa Totten trust attorneys at the Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C. today at 813-286-1700 to schedule a free consultation.

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