People often refer to estate planning as your final preparations, but I do not see it that way. When I work with you to prepare your estate, we develop a strategy for effectively passing your life’s legacy on to your family. I also help at the time of death by assisting with the transfer of assets to your beneficiaries.
It is never too early to begin planning your estate, and it is never too late to revisit decisions that you may have made many years ago. During our appointment, we discuss recent changes in the law and discuss your options.
Your will is an essential element of your estate plan. It directs the distribution of your assets to your beneficiaries. A well-constructed will provides a smooth process for your personal representative, formerly known as your executor.
The use of a revocable living trust is a popular method of avoiding probate costs. During your lifetime, you transfer your assets into the trust. Most remaining assets can be added to the trust at the time of your death using a pour-over will.
The transfer of your property to your beneficiaries may be your most significant bequest, but passing real estate through probate can be costly. I help you create an Enhanced Life Estate Deed, also known as a Ladybird Deed. This document allows your property to pass to your beneficiaries without probate.
You can give instructions about your financial and medical preferences in the event that you cannot speak for yourself, using important documents such as:
I take the time to explain each of these documents to you, and we make sure your intentions are clearly and accurately expressed.
When a family member dies, you may be appointed personal representative of the probate estate or administrator of a trust. I work with you to ensure you comply with your fiduciary duties and successfully respect the memory of your loved one.
Any assets that remain in the decedent’s name or are payable to the estate must pass through probate. If you are appointed as the personal representative, you are responsible for distributing the probate assets to the beneficiaries and for paying creditors, estate taxes and probate expenses.
As the trustee of a trust, your duty to the beneficiaries is ongoing. You have a fiduciary obligation to responsibly maintain the trust assets and annually report all transactions.
If you are the personal representative of an estate or the trustee of a trust, I help you carry out your duties within the guidelines of Florida estate law.
When you are ready to plan your estate or you need help administering the estate of another, contact me online or call 727.584.8161.