Florida Estate Planning: Wills and Trusts

A will is a personal plan for the future. It allows you to protect your assets, provide for your family, decide who will inherit your estate, and specify how your property will be distributed. There’s a lot to think about. You probably have a million questions, and you will certainly think of many more when we talk about your plans.

Working with an Attorney to Develop Your Plan

McCreary Law Office views the key role of your attorney as understanding what’s important to you and creating a plan that accomplishes your goals and distributes your property to dependents, heirs, or relatives in a fair and legally sound manner. Because of this, each step of the estate planning process is highly individualized. Your family isn’t like anyone else’s, and a will is not a one-size-fits-all product. It should be tailored to your unique situation.

When the objectives of your will are clearly established, you and Jana will work together to consider the options that are available to you and select the best ones for your situation. Jana will explain each option along with benefits, drawbacks, possible issues regarding conflicts, and any concerns that you may have. The process of working with Jana to create your plan is the same whether you are in Florida or in Texas.

Using Trusts in Florida

In conjunction with a will, a trust is one of the most valuable estate planning tools that we have. Trusts aren’t only for the rich and famous. They are great devices for many people who want to protect their assets, minimize tax burdens, and ensure a bright future for family members. Trusts have the added benefit of allowing you to place conditions on how and when the contents will be divided and whom they will benefit. Special needs trusts may also be necessary to protect assets for future care of family members when they are entitled to particular government benefits.

Adding a Trust to Your Estate Plan

Generally, a trust contains a portion of your total assets and is one important piece of your estate plan. Trusts are versatile at any stage of life, especially if you have dependents or minor children who are not entitled to inherit assets until they reach the majority age. A trust could be set up for each child or grandchild and nieces and nephews, or you could create a collective pot trust to provide for the expected needs of a group of siblings.

A trust can also help prevent potential conflicts when the estate is settled. Probate in Florida is notoriously lengthy and expensive. Incorporating a trust in your estate plan can be one way to avoid that by keeping your estate out of the oversight of the court.

Types of Trusts and What They Do

Today, many specialized trusts are available. Some are created when the estate is settled while others are separate irrevocable entities that hold assets during your lifetime. They may even contain proceeds from retirement plans, insurance policies, and investments. Almost any type of asset can be transferred to a trust. Later in life, trusts can help protect your assets in assisting to provide for cost of care.

In tandem with a will, trusts are a valuable part of a comprehensive estate plan. These two items simplify the process by outlining everything. Establishing a living trust or a testamentary trust is a wonderful way to provide for family members and to create a plan that makes you feel good. As an estate planning attorney, Jana can assist with the creation, management and administration of a trust that best accomplishes your goals.

Questions About Estate Planning in Florida?

McCreary Law Office works with Florida clients to create comprehensive estate plans and offers many online estate planning services. To learn more, contact McCreary Law Office in Florida at 904.425.9046, schedule an introductory call, or complete the online form.