It’s Never Too Early To Plan Your Estate
No one likes to think of their own death. Too often this results in loved ones not knowing your wishes and directives for what to do if you are incapacitated or die suddenly.
Without proper planning, you’ll may let a judge decide on what do with your home, your children, your savings, your prized possessions.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
The attorneys at The Orlando Law Group are here to help you with estate planning whether you are just starting a family or about to retire. We’ll help you with your will, establishing trusts, custody of children and pets, and your medical directives.
Then we’ll be there for you when you can’t to ensure your plans are fulfilled.
It’s not too early to start your estate planning. Reach out to us today to begin preparing for the future.
Your Questions About Estate Planning
What is Estate Planning?
Estate Planning is the process of creating documents that legally determine how your prized possessions will be distributed after your death, including who inherits what assets and who controls the distribution of assets.
Can’t I just tell my family my wishes?
If you die without proper estate planning, state laws govern how your property is distributed, the way your business affairs are handled, and who are your minor childrens’ guardians.
What’s the first step?
After meeting with your attorney, we’ll put together a will that outlines your very specific wishes for your property, your children and anything else you think needs to be included.
What is a Will?
Your Will is the way you instruct what happens with your property and your business affairs. More importantly, your Will is your opportunity to state your intentions for guardians for your minor children after your death.
What is a Living Will?
A Living Will is a document that tells your family, doctors, and friends what decisions you would like made for you if you cannot speak for yourself.
The Living Will allows you to indicate if you would like extreme measures to be taken to preserve your life or if you would not like your life extended through those measures.
Do I need a guardian for my children?
If YOU want to choose who will be responsible for your children in the event of your death, you must designate in a legal document who you want that person to be. Without you hiring an attorney to ensure your wishes are properly outlined, the courts will select a guardian for you.
How does estate planning work with non-traditional families?
For a non-traditional family, it’s even more critical to ensure your plans are in a legal document that all parties can reference. It’s too common for family members who are divorced or unapproving of a choice to try to change your plans. We won’t let them.
What about protections in a divorce and re-marriage?
The Orlando Law Group are the experts in family law as well. We’re well versed in making sure if your spouse remarries after your death, the money will still be used as planned. We’ll also make sure the tenants of your divorce are maintained after the death of an ex-spouse.
What role does will the adult children of my spouse have in our estate?
One of the most common complications of estates is when you factor in adult children from a second marriage. It’s critical when you remarry, their role is in the estate is clearly outlined to avoid unnecessary confusion and emotional turmoil when it comes to the children of a second marriage.
What is probate?
Probate is a court-supervised process of distributing property to beneficiaries of a deceased individual via that person’s Last Will and Testament or according to Florida’s intestacy statute.
Why do I need an attorney to handle probate?
The Orlando Law Group works with families, both local and around the country, to guide them through this process. This can include filing the original Will and death certificate with the court, preparing and filing a petition to open an estate, either formal administration or summary, having a personal representative appointed, gathering assets, satisfying creditors, and ultimately guiding distributions from the estate.
Do all assets pass through probate?
NO. Only assets titled in the deceased’s name alone need to pass through probate for distribution. For instance, any asset held jointly with right of survivorship or as a joint owner passes outside of probate to the surviving owner(s). Life insurance, IRAs and retirement plan assets pass outside probate to a designated beneficiary. Probate may be necessary if the beneficiary is also deceased or there is no valid beneficiary designation on that asset.
Can estate planning prevent the government from taking my money in taxes?
Taxes are inevitable, but The Orlando Law Group can use a number of legal devices, like establishing a trust, to help minimize the money paid to the IRS after you die.
What’s a trust?
A trust is a legal agreement where you (the “Grantor”) transfer your assets to a trustee who holds title to the assets on behalf of a beneficiary. A trust may be either revocable or irrevocable during your lifetime. Trusts are not probated and sometimes allow you to avoid the need for probate. The trust can be established while you are still living or after your death.
Is a living trust better?
There are advantages to both, but here are a few advantages to a trust while you are living:
- Reduce or defer estate taxes in some cases.
- Manage funds for children or other beneficiaries until the ages you have chosen.
- Permit planning for children from prior marriages.
- Hold assets to avoid probate and provide privacy.
- Allow management of your finances and assets if you become incapacitated.
- Facilitate business succession.
- Provide protection for children with disabilities.
I’m ready to start estate planning, now what?
There are a few decisions you need to think about before you start the process. If you have minor children you should decide on at least one set of guardians and whether you would like a trust to provide for them. Think about whom you would like to administer your estate and whether there are specific personal items, property, or gifts you would like to leave to family or friends. You also need to consider how you would like your monetary assets distributed. Part of that can be how to structure your estate so there are fewer taxes.
With that in mind, the attorneys at The Orlando Law Group can help you with estate planning today.
Read more about Estate Planning below:
- Having A Will Is The Best Decision You Can Make: Here’s Why
- What You Need For Probate – The Process of Proving a Will
- How Estate Planning Protects Your Legacy
- Estate Planning: The Will to Plan Now Makes for an Optimistic Tomorrow
- The Reverse Mortgage: An Overview
- What is Probate Law?
- What NOT to Include in Your Last Will and Testament