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What Are the Best Practices for Setting Up Educational Trusts for Children in Miami?

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Can I Set Up a Trust Strictly For My Child’s Education in Florida?

The simple legal answer is yes. You can set up an educational trust in Florida, and it’s an excellent way to prepare for your child’s (or grandchild’s) future educational needs.

An educational trust mandates that the funds (or assets) held within the trust are only used to cover the costs of your child’s continuing education (such as college, trade school, special classes, etc.).

When you create the trust, you will name a trustee, the specific beneficiaries of the trust, and precisely how the trust’s funds are to be utilized. Once your educational trust is professionally drafted and property, you will transfer property, assets, etc., into it for funding.
Educational trusts (under some conditions) have distinct benefits over college savings plans, mainly if you are the parents or grandparents of multiple children to provide for.

Florida does have state-administered college savings plans, such as the 529 plan; these are easy to set up and manage but have definite limitations. For example, your family can only contribute up to $28,000 a year per child, and the funds accumulated in these plans could reduce your child’s eligibility for other educational financial aid.

Therefore, parents or grandparents who have the means and want to help several children in the family (or possibly unborn but expected children) can often be better served by setting up an educational trust.

We already live in a highly competitive job market, and your child’s, or grandchild’s, future will most certainly depend on further educational training after high school. This training may be in the form of a college degree, trade school for specific careers, etc. Having the funds and training needed will ensure that your children can prosper in a job they’re passionate about.

Therefore, although the considerable costs of higher education have made it unaffordable to some, consulting with a qualified, professional, and knowledgeable Miami Trust lawyer can help you understand how an educational trust might be the best way to support the educational costs of future generations.

How Does an Educational Trust Compare to a “529” Plan?


Everyone’s situation differs, but under the right circumstances, setting up an educational trust may have distinct advantages over state-managed traditional 529 plans. Therefore, educational trusts should be explored and possibly considered by any family in a position to devote a significant amount of money or assets to their child’s or grandchild’s future educational needs.

One of the most significant differences between the two means of planning your child’s future education is that the educational plans in Florida limit the amount of money that can be placed into them every year. However, educational trusts do not have these limitations.

Therefore, given the significantly high costs of today’s education, parents who want their children to be fully financially prepared will almost always do better with an educational trust. Additionally, if the child’s grandparents want to contribute significantly to their grandchild’s future, an educational trust is usually a far better way to go.

Educational trusts also provide the parents or grandparents who placed the assets in the trust much more control over how these funds are utilized; the terms of a trust can be far more detailed and specific and are not bound by the limited terms of a Florida 529 account.

The only prudent way to fully understand if an educational trust suits your situation and goals is to obtain the advice and professional guidance of a skilled Miami Trust lawyer. Your trust lawyer can determine which option is best for you and your children’s future by fully knowing your financial details.

What Are Some Significant Features Of an Educational Trust?

You must note that if you decide to have an educational trust drafted, it’s highly prudent to have a Miami trust lawyer’s professional and detail-oriented help. Doing so ensures that your trust is structured carefully, includes all the directives you desire, and is done correctly.

By having the professional guidance you need, you can take full advantage of methods to leverage the assets that fund the trust, thereby increasing their value. Educational trusts often have financial items such as life insurance policies as a funding vehicle and investment component.

As the trust creator, you can pay all the premiums on the policy, and the proceeds will be used specifically to fund the trust after your death.

When this occurs, your trust beneficiary can use the entire (or part of) the life insurance policy proceeds for their education. You can also stipulate that if the funds are not used for educational purposes, what other use could the beneficiary use them for, if any? This is only one example of how flexible and versatile an educational trust may be.

Your trust lawyer will explain that an educational trust has many structural components, such as possible tax benefits, etc., that you may take advantage of.

However, educational trusts that utilize various types of funding can be tricky to navigate and draft and must be professionally compiled.

Must an Educational Trust Be Used When Needed If I’m Still Alive, Of Are There Options?

This may seem simplistic, but if you are alive, you (or whoever was the trust’s grantor) can fund your children’s education without using the trust. This is a fairly common question, but this contingency can also be addressed when the trust is drafted or at another time, as long as the grantor is alive to do so.

However, if you (or the grantor, such as a grandparent) are still alive when the trust’s funds are needed, you must consult with your lawyer and make sure you are making the right decision. Educational trusts have advantages specific to your circumstances, and you always want to ensure you’re not bypassing these valuable benefits.

Depending on the scope and value of your estate and the financial instruments you are using to fund the trust, the advice and guidance of your Miami trust lawyer will prove invaluable in ensuring you draft it in the most advantageous way possible.

I Need More Information About Educational Trusts; How Should I Proceed?

An educational trust can be a precious tool in planning for your children’s future education. Still, it must be determined that it’s the best option for you and your financial and family circumstances. These types of trust are very flexible and can be of significant benefit when drafted and designed by a professional; however, you must get the personalized guidance you need before moving forward.

The Miami-based estate lawyers at Perez-Roura Law have highly experienced, empathetic, and knowledgeable estate planning lawyers who genuinely care about your needs and future. Call them today at 305-570-3259 and obtain a free consultation on your case. This thorough and skilled trust law team will analyze your situation and work to put you on the best legal path possible. 

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