Do you know who will take care of your children and inherit your assets after you pass away? Do you know who will make healthcare decisions on your behalf? If you’re unsure, we can help. A skilled estate planning attorney in Orlando can help you create protections for your loved ones and everything you’ve worked so hard for.
Contact The Orlando Law Group today at (407) 512-4394 to learn how our Orlando law firm can help you remove any uncertainty about what will happen to your assets and family members.
Estate planning gives you the power to plan for your future
Estate plans set legal protections when you are unable to advocate for yourself or make your wishes known, whether you’re incapacitated, severely injured, or after you pass away. It can also set forth protections for your family and help provide for your loved ones.
Estate plans aren’t just for the wealthy
Everyone has an estate, even if it’s small. An estate planning attorney in Orlando can help you legally transfer property and assets to the person(s) you wish to have, which may not necessarily be your heir according to Florida laws of succession.
People who could benefit the most from an estate plan
Estate planning isn’t just about allocating assets. It also involves establishing protections for people you love or ensuring that you have adequate resources for end-of-life care.
Parents of minor children or children with special needs
Designating guardians for minor children can help ensure your children are cared for and raised in the manner you’d prefer. You can also provide a means for your child to go to college, with a trust, or for a special needs relative to have supplemental income without jeopardizing their government eligibility.
People with disabilities
Your estate plan can include healthcare directives if your condition takes a turn for the worse or create a steady stream of income if you are unable to work or can only work part-time.
Providing end-of-life care, like extensive medical treatment or accommodations in an assisted living center or nursing home, can help you ensure that your retirement investments and savings are managed properly to last the rest of your life.
What’s the benefit of having a will?
A will permits Florida residents the opportunity to legally designate beneficiaries and determine how their assets and property are distributed per their wishes. You can provide income for a spouse or child, leave gifts or priority to non-family members, or even donate to charity.
What should be included in a will?
Although the terminology in your last will and testament will be unique to your situation, wills in Florida contain several distinct elements.
This identifies you with legally sufficient specificity, including your full name and residence.
Appointment of a personal representative
You may designate an individual to file your will with probate and execute its terms. You can designate a responsible friend or family member, or opt for an estate planning attorney in Orlando to act as your will’s executor.
Appointment of a guardian
If you pass away before your child or children turn 18, then you may designate a legal guardian for them. Otherwise, a Florida family law court will appoint a guardian who may not have been your first choice. You can also provide financial support for your child’s guardian to care for the child.
Identification of devisees
Any specific gift left to an individual is referred to as a devise, and the recipient a devisee. This permits you to leave specific property or amounts of money to individuals you wish to have it.
Statement of devises
This specifically identifies your assets, property, and accounts, like retirement savings or investment accounts, that are not otherwise covered by a trust or other legal vehicle.
These provisions provide unnecessary probate expense and clarity of intention should both spouses pass away at the same time and address how to distribute the joint estate.
You may designate a second or alternate personal representative in case your primary representative cannot fulfill their obligations.
Statement of testamentary capacity and intent
This attests that you are of sound mind and have the legal capacity to set forth your wishes in your last will and testament.
This is your signature on the document, which must be witnessed by at least two individuals.
What’s the purpose of a trust?
A trust is a kind of fiduciary relationship, a legal plan that allows a third party (the trustee) to control assets and manage them on behalf of the beneficiary.
What types of trusts does Florida recognize?
Florida law sets forth several types of trusts with different protections and benefits. Your estate planning attorney in Orlando can determine which type of trust or trusts best suit your financial situation and goals.
Revocable living trust
In Florida, if a child inherits more than $15,000, then a guardian must be appointed to manage the assets or funds on behalf of the child, per Florida Statute 744.342. However, a revocable living trust can bypass the guardianship requirement.
Irrevocable trusts can help avoid estate taxes on the assets in the trust, removing them from the estate. It allows the settlor, or person creating the trust, to manage assets while avoiding probate, and protects assets in the trust from creditors.
Florida State Statute 736.1106 governs testamentary trusts, or trusts detailed in a person’s will that go into effect when the settlor passes away and after the will passes through probate. The will contains instructions for how the trust operates and who it benefits.
Florida statute 736.0110 covers charitable trusts and outlines what types of charitable organizations may be considered primary beneficiaries. Charitable trusts allow you to contribute part of your estate to a charity, for educational purposes, or to the arts.
Special needs trusts
A special needs trust (SNT) is a type of trust that benefits a child or adult with special needs. It’s constructed in such a way that the beneficiary does not have control over the assets in the trust and therefore retains their eligibility for government healthcare and other benefits.
A Florida pet trust establishes a guardian for an animal and provides funding for the guardian to care for your animal, such as paying vet bills, food, and other needs. Only animals alive during your lifetime may be designated as trust beneficiaries; animals that the guardian acquires after you pass away are not legally permitted to benefit from the trust’s assets.
Other estate planning documents that help you and your family achieve your goals
Don’t forget about these valuable estate planning documents to ensure your wishes are honored.
Powers of attorney or living will
You can set a financial power of attorney, naming someone to handle your investments or operate your business if you cannot make decisions due to illness or incapacitation. You can also designate someone you trust to make healthcare decisions.
Deposition of final remains
Do you want to be buried? Created? Interred in a family vault? Your will can stipulate this.
Assets and contact lists
Inventorying your assets and noting the names and contact information of beneficiaries listed in your will and other estate plan documents makes it easier for your personal representative to notify your heirs of your passing and begin valuing your estate.
A property memo designates a particular item or piece of property to go to a certain individual, like a family heirloom or painting.
Why should I work with an Orlando trusts, wills, and estate planning lawyer? Can’t I create these documents myself?
Our team of estate planning experts has worked through most situations dealing with estate planning and writing wills. Even for what might be a simple will, an attorney is recommended because no two wills will be the same. Everyone has different types of assets and different amounts of assets.
Tailored and customized plans
Work with a professional Orlando law firm to develop an estate plan for your unique needs.
Expertise in complex laws and regulations
The legal team at The Orlando Law Group keeps abreast of any changes to Florida probate and succession laws and advises our clients if any changes affect their estate plans.
Minimization of taxes and costs
A well-crafted estate plan can help avoid costly estate taxes that take money and assets away from your heirs.
Protection of assets and wealth preservation
Protect everything you’ve worked hard for and make plans to grow your wealth.
Peace of mind
When you have a well-crafted estate plan, you know that your family will be taken care of if something happens to you.
Our Orlando estate planning attorneys are here to give you peace of mind
Your family is more important than relying on an online form. The skilled estate planning lawyers with The Orlando Law Group are here to help you with your will to protect your family and your interests.
If you live in Orlando, Sanford, Lake Nona, Winter Garden, Altamonte Springs, Windermere, or anywhere in Central Florida, please reach out to us today about estate planning to minimize probate.
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