It is so important to protect your wishes and prepare those you love for what will be necessary upon your eventual passing, whenever that may occur. To make your wishes clear and legally binding, you must have a Will, or Last Will and Testament, as well as an Estate Plan.
An Estate Plan is a set of directions as to how your money, assets and belongings should be handled both prior to and after your passing to best ensure your wishes are met. You need more than a list of who gets what. You need an attorney trained and experienced in this area of the law. Your attorney will make suggestions and draft these crucial documents to accomplish what you want for your financial and material belongings (money, personal property, real estate, investments, pensions, business interests, life insurance, IRA’s, etc.) in a way that will also minimize Federal and State taxes, maximize the value of things you worked so hard for, and distribute them according to instructions.
Here at Boyer Law Firm, our services include:
- Last Wills and Testaments
- Trusts of all types, including: Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts, Revocable Living Trusts, Contingent Minors Trusts, Special Needs and Medicaid Trusts
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Living Will and Healthcare Directives
- Interim Wills for Divorce Clients
- Appointment of Fiduciaries and Guardians
- Wills and Estate planning
- Charitable Plan Giving for organizations or individuals
- Periodic review of plans and documents for life changing events
- Periodic review of plans and documents for changes in Federal and State Tax legislation and regulations.
- Probate management through filing Estate Tax Returns
An important function of an estate plan is to invest authority in those you trust by appointing executors, trustees, and guardians to be responsible not only for your assets but for your other precious possessions: minor children.
A will contains instructions as to how property and assets are to be distributed after the death of an individual. Creation of a will is a good idea for adults of all ages. Boyer Law Firm is happy to work with you and your family to plan your succession issues. A will can cover property distribution and contains names of people you would like to distribute this property to.
Property can include your homes, vehicles, land, benefits of insurance policies, bank accounts, boats, furniture, digital assets, and investments including artwork, jewelry, etc. The people named in the will are known as the beneficiaries.
What if you delay? What if you do not plan?
Unfortunately, if you pass away without a Will or Estate Plan, the laws of Florida will direct how your money, assets and belongings are managed. An administrator is appointed, bonds are required to be posted, and any disputes among loved ones will delay and drain your estate by triggering fees and costs along the way. State law will dictate the distribution of your estate, most often directing it to go to closest relations. Furthermore, the impact of Federal and State taxes would be much higher. The overall result is a more troublesome, upsetting and costly situation left for your loved ones upon your passing, who will likely be struggling to accomplish what you would have wanted.
There are countless unique circumstances that can affect your particular situation with respect to wills and estate planning. Single parents, widows, divorces and second marriages all require expert analysis. Are you younger or older? Do you have a blended family resulting from second marriages and children from each? Are grandparents raising and/or supporting children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews? Are there loans that have already been extended among children, friends or extended family? Is there anyone in your family or in your care that has special needs, is disabled or chronically ill? Do you have assets that are particularly vulnerable to State and Federal taxes? Do particular creditors need to be considered?
An expert, diligent and meticulous attorney will be able to analyze your situation and provide options for how you accomplish your wishes. Various tools can be used in conjunction with your Will, such as establishing a Trust, a Living Will (or Healthcare Directive), Durable Power of Attorney, lifetime gifts, or transfers of assets to minimize tax impacts and further meet your goals.
Do not take any chances. The right attorney will not only ensure that your plan fits your unique circumstances and fulfills your wishes, the attorney will review the plan upon any life changing event (changes in financial circumstances, retirement, relocation, marriage, divorce, etc.) and upon any change in Federal or State tax laws.