Planning your estate with an estate lawyer can never go wrong. The estate planning lawyer would help guide you through the entire process of creating and implementing your estate plan. Generally, the estate lawyer would advise you on the necessary steps to take once you contact them before crafting out the best plan to fit your family, financial and other needs.
Here are five things the Miami estate lawyer would do for you:
Create wills and trusts
The first thing your Estate lawyer will help you do when hired is to create a will and trust. These two documents allow for an efficient transfer of your entire possessions to your loved one. In Miami, your will must first be admitted to a Miami probate court for before the assets addressed in the will can be distributed. Depending on the value, it can take some time and considerable cost before probate is concluded. Having some assets in a living trust will help lessen the load of the will, and thus simplify probate or even avoid it if all assets are held in the living trust at death.
Help plan for incapacity
To prepare you for an eventuality like incapacity, there are certain documents your lawyer will include in your estate plan. The first is a durable financial power of attorney in which you empower with the authority over your fiscal matters whenever you’re unable to handle them yourself. Incapacity can be as a result of a ghastly accident, mental disease, age etc., and you need to plan for this. On the other hand, a healthcare proxy allows you appoint an agent to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event of incapacity.
Plan for minors and children with special needs
If you pass away leaving minors or children with special needs, who cares for them when you’re gone? Note that minors are not permitted by law to inherit directly until they come of age. Your estate lawyer will help in establishing guardianship, child trust, or special needs trust — as the case may be — to care for your children should you pass away leaving them in such conditions.
Help you avoid probate.
An irrevocable trust offers asset protection (having a tax-free estate beyond the reach of creditors) and probate avoidance as opposed to a will. However, the downside is that you have no access to assets funded into an irrevocable trust during your lifetime. If you desire asset protection and probate avoidance, your estate attorney can create a Pour-over will to pour all your assets into a trust at the moment you pass away.
Estate planning documents to consider.
Last Will: Last will is perhaps the most documented estate plan. With a last will you can solely direct who take inheritance of your possession when you die. Also, should in case you have minors, the last will can contain names of guardian and the type of guardianship you want for your children.
Living trust: this one essential estate document that not only dictates what happens to you when you die but also should any disability occur. Living trust can covers three phases of one’s life: when you are alive and well, when you become mentally incapacitated and lastly after you die. Through a documented living trust, you can decide who handle you medical and financial decisions. You can also transfer your assets to a living trust. The advantages of having a living trust aside a will is enormous, as the trust document does not require probate to implement transfer of asset.
Financial power of attorney: should you plan to transfer the control of business, or financial decisions to a trusted fellow, you would need the financial power of attorney to implement this decision. This document allows a desired individual handle making financial decision on your behalf when you become incapacitated and unable to handle your financial affairs.
Advance medical directive: quite similar to the financial power of attorney, this document allows a desired individual make major medical calls and decisions for you, should become incapacitated.
Do I need an estate lawyer to help with my Miami estate planning? Contact us today.
While a simple will may be easy to create, trusts, powers of attorney, tax and disability planning are way more complex, requiring legal and professional expertise. A single error can plunge your life’s work into catastrophe, but an estate attorney will ensure that your estate plan conforms to Miami laws and serves your best interests. Contact one now.