Who is an estate planning attorney?
An estate planning attorney is a legal practitioner specialized in estate laws and having experience in carrying estate planning that conforms to the wishes and best interests of the client. Estate laws vary from state to state and to this regard, estate planning attorneys Miami offer their legal services within the city of Miami and Florida at large.
When hired, what do Miami estate planning attorneys offer?
Estate planning attorneys in Miami are specialized in the following estate planning parameters:
- Creating wills and trusts: a crucial aspect of estate planning is asset transfer. To ensure that your hard-earned acquisitions go to those who matter to you when you die, you must state your wishes in a legal document such as a will or trust. Both documents offer different benefits and your estate planning attorney may advise including both in your estate plan depending on your wishes.
- Plan for incapacity: Miami estate planning attorneys understand that estate planning is not just about after death situation but lifetime situations as well. There is likelihood of any individual falling victim of incapacitation due to age, illness or accident, and it becomes imperative that measures are put in place to guarantee your financial and personal well-being should to you.
To this effect, your estate planning attorney may create:
- A Financial Power of Attorney – This authorizes a third-party to take charge over your financial affairs during incapacity.
- A Healthcare Surrogate – This authorizes a third-party to make healthcare decisions on your behalf during incapacity.
- Plan for tax avoidance: Although there is no state estate tax, gift tax nor income tax in Florida, there is a federal estate tax reaching up to 40% on estates valuing over $11.58 million for deaths in 2020. If your estate is below this value, there is nothing to worry about when it exceeds, your estate planning attorney will employ any estate planning instrument by which such tax can be avoided.
How much do Miami estate planning attorneys charge?
Attorney fees depend on the extent of the legal services rendered as well as the complexity of your estate. For small estates, a will may suffice to cover all your needs, and a Miami estate planning will likely charge an average of $375 to create a will; this value may reach up $600.
For a more complex estate plan involving creation of trusts, tax planning, incapacity planning amongst others, the cost may fall between $1,500 and $3,000.
Attorney fees for only consultancy vary. Some may Miami may charge up to $300 for the first consultation while others offer for free.
Questions to ask your estate planning attorney on your first meeting
Before hiring an estate planning attorney in Miami, it is advised you acquire insight into their services in order to know how much they can help you and what to expect. To this end, there are a few important questions to ask the attorney on your first visit or phone call:
- What is the expected duration of the estate planning process?
- Would a living trust and/or powers of attorney be needed? What benefits do these options offer?
- Are you only going to create the trust documents or implement them (by funding with assets) as well?
- Will you be in charge of updating the estate plan when need be?
- Can I leave the entire estate planning process in your hands while I face my business?
- Do I have to review the plan at each stage? Constant communication between you and your attorney can help prevent mistakes and keep both of you in constant sync.
- Are you also specialized in disability and tax planning?
- How do you charge?
- Have you been involved with a client with a similar situation as I?
- How long have you been practicing?
How to choose a good estate planning lawyer
How well you can work with your estate planning attorney is determined by your answers to the following questions.
- On your first meeting:
- Hey comfortable did you feel discussing with them?
- Did they listen passionately and keenly?
- Did they provide a solution-based approach to your problems?
- How well do their estate planning techniques appeal to you?
- Did they speak with clarity and understanding?
- Do you feel they have your best interests at heart with the way they spoke or just after your money?
- Are they highly knowledgeable and specialized in the areas which bother on your estate?