April 23, 2024
What Is a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT)?

by Denis Kleinfeld

Estate planning and managing wealth are key for everyone. I’m here to tell you about a great tool for couples in Florida. It’s known as a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT). This trust brings strong benefits for protecting assets and planning your estate.

In simple terms, a Florida SLAT is a trust set up by one partner for the other and their kids. It does more than just owning things as a couple does. With a SLAT, one partner can shield their wealth from legal risks. At the same time, they make sure their spouse and kids will be secure in the future.

The SLAT lets the trustee give money or assets for the family’s well-being. This can go towards health, education, and supporting their living costs. When both partners pass away, the trust assets go to the children or whoever was chosen. This makes passing on wealth a streamlined process.

Key Takeaways:

  • A Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) helps protect a couple’s assets in Florida.
  • It beats out other methods, like owning things together as a couple, in protection advantages.
  • SLATs are a smart choice for keeping assets safe and planning your estate.
  • The trust can provide money for the surviving spouse’s health, learning, and everyday costs.
  • After both partners have passed, the trust assets go to named heirs.

Benefits of a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT)

A Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) provides many benefits. It’s a great tool for keeping assets safe, planning for estate taxes, and saving wealth.

Asset Protection

A SLAT can protect assets for the beneficiary spouse. This is done by putting the assets in the trust. They’re then safe from creditors, helping the beneficiary spouse’s financial security.

Estate Tax Planning

Using a SLAT is smart for estate tax planning. It takes assets out of the grantor’s taxable estate, which can lower future estate taxes. This helps to keep wealth within the family and pass it down to later generations as intended.

Creditor Protection

SLATs also shield assets from creditors. They do this by not allowing the beneficiary spouse to give or promise the trust’s benefits to anyone. This rule keeps the assets safe from those who might want to claim them.

Tenancy by Entireties Preservation

A SLAT keeps the protection of assets for married couples, even if one spouse passes away. It keeps the assets safe from judgments against a single spouse. Thus, a SLAT helps maintain these benefits while adding trust advantages.

Investing in a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) is rewarding for many reasons. It helps with asset safety, estate tax plans, keeping assets away from creditors, and saving tenancy by entireties benefits. These benefits are vital for those wishing to protect their wealth and plan for their family’s financial future.

Benefits of a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT)
Asset Protection
Estate Tax Planning
Creditor Protection
Tenancy by Entireties Preservation

How Does a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) Work?

A Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) lets a spouse create a trust for their partner. This trust is special. It keeps assets safe and reduces taxes.

The person who starts the trust puts money or property in it. This makes it so that the trust’s belongings don’t count as the owner’s when it comes to taxes. The trust’s rules say how and when money can be given to the partner.

The trust has a rule to keep things fair. It says the person who started the trust can’t benefit from it directly. They can only do so after the trust is passed on. This protects the trust’s assets from taxes, helping in protection and saving money.

The partner gets money from the trust. This can be for everyday needs or big goals like education. Keeping this money aside helps the partner financially.

Choosing the right person to manage the trust is key. A good trustee keeps everything running smoothly. They make sure the money and rules of the trust benefit both sides fairly.

SLAT Structure:

A SLAT has three key people involved:

  1. The Grantor Spouse who sets it up and puts money in it.
  2. The Beneficiary Spouse who receives benefits from the trust.
  3. The Trustee, a person or group, who looks after the trust.

They work together to keep the trust working well. This helps in protecting assets and saving on taxes. It also ensures the beneficiary spouse’s financial safety.

Asset Protection in a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT)

A Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) helps shield assets from creditors. It protects the assets of the beneficiary spouse when needed most. This could be during a divorce or if the spouse not in debt passes away.

In a SLAT, assets are kept in a special ownership. It’s called tenancy by entireties. It means that what a married couple owns together can’t be used to pay off just one person’s debt. This has an important impact on keeping your shared assets safe.

SLATs also have a spendthrift clause. This blocks the beneficiary spouse from giving or pledging trust benefits to others, like creditors.

The spendthrift clause is a big help. It stops many creditors from touching what’s in the trust. This keeps the trust benefits safe and solely for the beneficiary to use.

Part of a SLAT’s value is in the asset protection. It makes sure a beneficiary spouse’s assets are safe from possible dangers. These dangers include creditors, divorce, and other emergencies. So, a SLAT not only provides asset protection, it also secures peace of mind for its users.

Estate Tax Planning with a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT)

A Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) helps with estate tax planning. It uses certain strategies and tax rules to keep wealth for the next generation.

Making completed gifts is a good strategy with a SLAT. It removes assets and their growth from your estate taxes. This can lower what you owe in estate tax.

Gifts to a SLAT fit under the annual gift exclusion and lifetime credit. You can give up to $15,000 a year per person tax-free. Beyond this, it can count towards your lifetime limit, which is currently about $13 million.

Talking to a tax expert or estate planning lawyer is key for SLAT gift taxes. They can ensure you follow the tax laws.

A SLAT also helps keep wealth by using the estate tax exemption. This exemption lets some assets pass on tax-free. SLAT assets won’t add to your taxable estate, meaning less tax.

Example Estate Tax Planning Strategy

Here’s an example to show how a SLAT may lower estate tax:

John and Mary have a net worth of $20 million. They set up a SLAT with John giving $5 million. The rest, $15 million, stays in their estate.

Years later, John dies. The SLAT has grown to $8 million but their estate is still $15 million. Only $7 million is taxed, saving $8 million from estate tax.

This example highlights how a SLAT reduces what you might pay in estate tax. It’s great for protecting and growing wealth for future generations.

Key Benefits of SLAT for Estate Tax Planning
Reduces potential estate tax liability
Utilizes the annual gift exclusion and lifetime inheritance credit
Preserves wealth by maximizing the estate tax exemption
Provides flexibility in estate planning strategies

Using a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) can lower estate taxes. It’s important to work with an estate lawyer who knows SLATs well. They will make sure you follow tax laws.

Changes in Florida Law for Spousal Limited Access Trusts (SLATs)

In 2022, Florida lawmakers updated Florida Statute Section 736.0505(3). This brought major changes and new benefits for Spousal Limited Access Trusts (SLATs) in estate planning. The changes greatly increased the efficiency and flexibility of SLATs.

A key change allows grantor spouses to become trust beneficiaries if the original one dies. This lets the grantor receive trust income and principal after their spouse’s death. It’s a big step that protects assets from debts and estate taxes.

These changes create more options for grantor spouses in their estate plans. They can shape their SLATs to get the maximum benefits for themselves and those they’re leaving it to.

By using these new laws, grantor spouses can protect their assets and meet their estate planning aims. SLATs are now more valuable in Florida, providing better benefits for both grantors and beneficiaries.

Working with skilled estate planning lawyers is key for those interested in SLATs. These experts can guide you through Florida’s trust laws, ensuring your SLAT fits your needs and is legally sound.

Thanks to the updated Florida law, SLATs offer more protection and adaptability in estate planning. They are an excellent option for comprehensive estate plans, benefiting grantor spouses, beneficiary spouses, and their families.

Setting Up a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT)

Setting up a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) means creating a trust. The trust names the beneficiary spouse and future family members as beneficiaries. The grantor spouse places assets into the trust to be given as completed gifts.

The beneficiary can get money from the trust while they’re alive. After their death, the remaining assets will go to other beneficiaries.

To ensure your SLAT is legally sound in Florida, talking with a good estate planning attorney is crucial. They will help you navigate any legal questions. They make sure your SLAT fits your needs and goals.

SLAT Creation

Benefits of Setting Up a SLAT

A SLAT in Florida has many advantages for estate and tax planning. With a SLAT, you can:

  • Shield assets from creditors and legal trouble.
  • Lower potential estate taxes with completed gifts.
  • Assure the beneficiary spouse gets financial help in their lifetime.
  • Help assets pass smoothly to heirs after the beneficiary spouse passes away.

When you think about a SLAT, finding a skilled estate planning attorney is key. They can give you the advice you need.

Example SLAT Structure

Here’s a basic idea of a SLAT’s setup:

Role Description
Grantor Spouse The spouse who sets up and funds the SLAT.
Beneficiary Spouse The spouse who benefits from the SLAT during their lifetime.
Trustee Someone trusted to manage the SLAT as it should be.
Completed Gifts Assets moved into the trust by the grantor spouse, often to reduce estate taxes.
Tax Planning Planning for tax effects when the SLAT is made and used.

Right planning with a SLAT in Florida can safeguard your assets, plan your taxes, and smoothly pass wealth on to the next generations.

Considerations and Limitations of a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT)

When you look into a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT), understand it has certain factors and limits. Things like divorce or a spouse’s death can affect how well the SLAT works. You can add a floating spouse part to the trust to deal with these issues.

The floating spouse part means the grantor’s spouse can change and the trust still works as planned. This helps keep your assets safe from going to a former spouse. It’s a way to avoid problems if your marital life changes.

It’s smart to get help from a skilled estate planning attorney for a Florida SLAT. They offer advice tailored to your situation, making sure your trust is set up right.

Key Considerations:

  • Divorce: Consider divorce risks to keep your SLAT effective and meeting your wishes.
  • Beneficiary Spouse’s Death: A plan can make sure your trust’s assets go where you want if your spouse dies.
  • Floating Spouse Provision: This part guards against wrong beneficiaries if marriages change.

Thinking through these points and getting expert help from an estate planning attorney lets you make the most of a Florida SLAT. It helps avoid some common problems.

Getting advice from an estate planning attorney is key. They make sure your SLAT will protect your assets well, even if big changes happen like divorce or a spouse’s death.

Consideration Importance
Divorce Vital
Beneficiary Spouse’s Death Crucial
Floating Spouse Provision Essential

Spousal Limited Access Trusts (SLATs) vs. Domestic Asset Protection Trusts (DAPT)

Spousal Limited Access Trusts (SLATs) and Domestic Asset Protection Trusts (DAPT) are excellent tools for keeping assets safe. But, they work in different ways. A DAPT protects assets from those the trustmaker might owe money to, but this depends on the state’s laws. For instance, Florida doesn’t give certain protections for DAPTs.

SLATs work a bit differently. They provide protection similar to DAPTs but are for the use of a spouse and their children. With SLATs, your assets can stay safe according to Florida law. This makes SLATs a good choice for many people in the state.

“While some states protect the beneficial interest of a self-settled trust like a DAPT, Florida law does not offer such protections.”

SLATs are strong at keeping assets away from bills and debt. This is very helpful in cases of divorce or when the non-debtor spouse passes away. By adding a spendthrift clause, assets are even safer. The clause stops the beneficiary spouse from giving their trust benefits to others, like creditors.

Because of these benefits, SLATs are a great choice in Florida. If you want to protect your assets, it’s worth looking into SLATs. Talk to a skilled estate planning lawyer to set up a plan that fits your needs.

Spousal Limited Access Trusts (SLATs) and Estate Tax Savings

Spousal Limited Access Trusts (SLATs) are key in estate planning. They help save on estate taxes and keep wealth for future. By using SLATs, people can lower tax bills and ensure assets go to their heirs smoothly.

One great thing about SLATs is that you can treat transfers as gifts that are finished. This takes the assets out of the giver’s estate tax. So, you save a lot on estate taxes, keeping your wealth safe for your loved ones.

In Florida, SLATs are extra useful because of a special tax rule for spouses. This rule lets a set amount of assets move between spouses tax-free. With SLATs, people can use this rule well and keep their wealth for the next generations.

SLATs are not just about saving on taxes. They also help guard wealth. Placing assets in a trust protects them from debts or other money troubles. This means peace of mind, knowing your life’s wealth is secured for your family as you wanted.

For the full advantage of SLATs, having a skilled estate planning lawyer is key. They can lead you in setting up and handling a SLAT. They make sure everything follows the law and spreads the most benefits.

Using SLATs helps lower estate taxes and keeps family wealth safe. With the right strategies and understanding of tax rules, SLATs support solid estate planning and safeguarding assets for future generations.

Spousal Limited Access Trusts (SLATs) and Florida Trust Law

In Florida, Spousal Limited Access Trusts (SLATs) are ruled by Florida Trust Law. This law outlines the rules and benefits of SLATs. It lets married couples protect their assets while enjoying certain legal benefits.

An important part of Florida Trust Law is the spendthrift clause in SLATs. This rule stops a spouse from giving their trust benefits to creditors. This way, assets in the SLAT stay safe for the spouse and their family.

Creating and managing a SLAT the right way involves knowing Florida Trust Law. It’s best to have an estate planning lawyer who knows Florida Trust Law help. This ensures your SLAT is set up well for asset protection and estate planning benefits.

SLAT Statutes in Florida

Florida’s Trust Law has special rules for SLATs. These rules explain how to create and use these trusts to their full advantage. So, it’s key to follow Florida’s SLAT laws closely to get the benefits.

“Florida Trust Law, including the relevant SLAT statutes, plays a crucial role in the creation and management of these trusts. Complying with the legal requirements and understanding the intricacies of Florida Trust Law is essential for ensuring the effectiveness and long-term success of a SLAT.” – [Your Name], Estate Planning Attorney

Florida Trust Law

Tenancy by Entireties and SLATs

Married couples in Florida can use a special way of owning property called tenancy by entireties. This way, the property is safe from creditors of each individual. SLATs allow couples to keep this protection while safeguarding assets from creditors.

Estate Planning and SLATs

SLATs are strong tools for estate planning. They help protect assets and reduce estate taxes. By following Florida Trust Law with SLATs, individuals can plan their estates well with unique goals in mind. An experienced attorney is important for using SLATs effectively.

Estate Planning Benefits of SLATs Florida Trust Law
Asset protection for married couples Specific statutes and requirements
Estate tax reduction Tenancy by entireties protection
Creditor protection Spendthrift clause


A Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) offers many benefits. It is helpful for planning your estate, protecting assets, and reducing estate taxes. Married couples can use SLATs to keep assets safe from creditors. They can also lower the risks if divorce or the death of a spouse happens. Additionally, setting up a SLAT correctly can help lessen estate taxes.

To make sure your wealth is passed on as you want, it’s key to work with a skilled estate planning lawyer. They will design a SLAT strategy that fits your needs. And, it’ll make sure it follows Florida Trust Law.


What Is a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT)?

A Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) is designed for married couples. It offers asset protection. One spouse can create a trust for the other and their children. This trust provides benefits not found in other plans.

What are the benefits of a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT)?

SLATs protect assets and help in estate tax planning. They keep assets safe from creditors. The trust also makes sure the beneficiary can’t give the trust money to others.

How does a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) work?

A grantor spouse starts a SLAT for their partner. They put money or other assets in the trust. The trust’s rules cover how the money can be used and help reduce taxes after the grantor’s death.

How does a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) provide asset protection?

It keeps the beneficiary spouse’s money safe from creditors. It also stops the beneficiary from giving the trust money to others. This protection is based on how Florida law sees joint property and trust agreements.

How does a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) help with estate tax planning?

By forming a SLAT, the grantor can lower their estate’s tax bill. It moves assets and their growth out of the grantor’s estate. This can save a lot of money in taxes, especially along with other tax planning tools.

What are the changes in Florida law for Spousal Limited Access Trusts (SLATs)?

The law now lets the grantor join as a beneficiary if the other spouse dies. This change offers more ways for the grantor to plan their estate.

How do you set up a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT)?

Creating a SLAT means making a trust that includes the spouse and future family as beneficiaries. The grantor places assets in the trust, often as a gift for tax reasons.

What considerations and limitations should be kept in mind for a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT)?

Divorce or the beneficiary spouse’s death can change how effective the SLAT is. Adding a special provision in the trust can help. It’s also crucial to have an estate lawyer’s advice.

How does a Florida Spousal Limited Access Trust (SLAT) differ from a Domestic Asset Protection Trust (DAPT)?

Both SLATs and DAPTs offer asset protection, but SLATs are stronger in Florida. This is because DAPTs are set up differently.

How can Spousal Limited Access Trusts (SLATs) help with estate tax savings?

SLATs can reduce estate taxes by using gifts to move assets out of the estate. Along with other tax benefits, this can lead to significant tax savings.

How do Spousal Limited Access Trusts (SLATs) align with Florida Trust Law?

SLATs follow Florida Trust Law, using special protection provided by the law. This includes how joint property is seen and rules against the beneficiary giving away trust money. Sticking to these laws is important when making and using a SLAT.