St. Petersburg Treatment of Trust Assets Lawyer
Unfortunately, the Trust Code and existing case law in Florida leaves people feeling a great deal of uncertainty when it comes to dividing the assets in a trust during the divorce process. However, any assets that are acquired by devise, gift, or descent are generally not considered marital property and therefore, are not subject to division. This has many people wondering what happens to the assets held within their trust during divorce. Our St. Petersburg treatment of trust assets lawyer explains what happens to these assets during divorce proceedings below.
When Assets are Held in a Trust Prior to the Marriage
When a trust was established prior to a marriage, or a spouse is named as the beneficiary of a family trust, the assets within it are typically not divided during divorce. This means that if one spouse is named as a beneficiary, the other spouse does not have any right to it. These trusts also cannot be used to reduce the amount of alimony owed by one party to the other.
When Both Parties are Named as Trust Beneficiaries
There are instances when a trust is created and both spouses are named as beneficiaries. For example, during the marriage a couple may decide to create a trust and transfer assets to it in the event one passes away. In this case, the trust allows the assets within to avoid the lengthy and costly probate process. However, if the spouses divorce, dividing the assets within that trust then becomes an issue.
When both spouses are named as beneficiaries of a trust, the assets within it are subject to Florida’s property division laws. This means that the assets will be divided fairly, although not necessarily equally. Trusts that include both spouses as beneficiaries are typically created after the marriage and because each spouse is named as a beneficiary, each has a right to a portion of it.
When Assets in a Trust are Co-Mingled
Sometimes, a spouse may take funds from a trust and use them for marital purposes. For example, a spouse may take funds from a trust and use them to open a joint bank account. If the couple gets a divorce, each spouse is likely entitled to a portion of their funds. Due to the fact that the spouse named in the trust commingled the assets with marital property, it then becomes a marital asset even if it was initially considered separate.
Our Treatment of Trust Assets Lawyer in St. Petersburg Can Help with Your Complex Case
Divorce cases always have the potential to become extremely complex, but those involving the division of trusts are particularly complicated. At Greene & Greene, our St. Petersburg treatment of trust assets lawyer can help advise on the division of property matters in your case and help you retain the assets most valuable to you. Call us now at (727) 821-2900 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with one of our seasoned attorneys and to learn more about your legal options.