Estate planning is important for every individual. But estate planning goes beyond just writing a will and transferring wealth to beneficiaries. There are other things to address such as estate tax, disability and incapacity, Guardianship for minors, probate, asset protection, as well as the ever-changing estate laws. For all of these, estate planning becomes a herculean task when going it alone. So why not get professional assistance from one who has been doing it for years? One who knows the thick and thin of estate planning, and so knows exactly what would work best for your situation?
Estate planning Attorney
The estate planning attorney Florida is a legal expert highly knowledgeable in the act of estate planning in Florida. When hired, they would listen and have deep discussions with you regarding all issues bordering on your estate in order to know the right steps to take. The estate planning attorney has your best interests at heart, and would work with you to ensure that your wishes are not only mapped out, but that they are implemented accordingly.
Things the estate planning attorney would do for you
Plan for asset transfer
An important aspect of estate planning is the transfer of wealth after your death. Who do your assets go to when you die? How do you ensure that your desired value goes to your desired beneficiary? You can leave assets for friends, charity, and those related or unrelated to you.
Your estate planning attorney Florida will help you plan for this in such a way that avoids ambiguity and family conflicts when you die. Your attorney will guide you in preparing your asset transfer documents such as a will and trust.
- Will: a will is a simple asset transfer document on which you name your beneficiaries and an executor who must ensure that all your wishes are duly carried out. A will only goes effect after your death, and must go through probate.
- Living trust: a living trust offers more benefits than a will in that it provides immediate asset transfer during life and after death without going through probate and publicity. However, not all assets can or should go into a living trust. Your estate planning attorney will, depending on the nature of your estate, come up with the best way to combine a will and trust to address all your possessions.
Plan for incapacity
As a person gets older, there is always fear of incapacity. Powers of attorney are used to plan for such unpleasant situations.
- Financial power of attorney: this document enables you appoint someone who would handle your fiscal matters and make financial decisions on your behalf when you become incapacitated.
- Healthcare power of attorney: this document enables you appoint someone who would handle your healthcare and make medical decisions on your behalf when you become incapacitated.
Plan for Guardianship for yourself and minors
If you do not plan for guardianship, then the court would be involved in the guardianship process when you become incapacitated. Guardianship proceedings are quite expensive and are something to avoid. With a living trust, you can avoid this. Your trustee becomes your guardian immediately you become incapacitated.
Same thing is applicable for minors. To ensure that the court does not appoint someone who you do not want as guardian for your minors, your attorney can help in creating a Child Trust or name a guardian in your will.
Plan for tax avoidance and asset protection
Although there is no state estate tax in Florida, there is still federal estate tax to consider. The Federal estate tax exemption value for 2020 is $11.58 million. If your estate exceeds this value, then your attorney can help avoid the expected tax by reducing the value of your estate (that is in your name) through gifting, placing valuable assets in an irrevocable trust, etc.
Help to minimize or avoid probate
Every will must go through the probate court, and the complexity and cost of probate is proportional to the value of the assets being probated.
Probate in Florida can take a year or even years before beneficiaries can inherit their share of the states. There are techniques best understood by the estate planning attorney by which they can minimize or even avoid probate.
Need help from an estate planning attorney? Contact us
Our Florida-based law firm is office to highly skilled estate planning lawyers with decades of experience handling estate planning for Florida residents. With us, your peace of mind is guaranteed. We understand that every estate and every client is different, and this is why we look meticulously into the estate situation of our client to identify what measures would work best for them. Your peace of mind and financial security is our priority. Contact our offices to speak with an estate planning attorney Florida.