Florida Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, Asset Preservation, Living Wills, Powers of Attorney in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County
Our knowledge, experience, and dedication make a difference.
The Law Offices of Barbara Buxton, P.A., is a South Florida Wills, Trusts, Estates, Estate Planning, Asset Preservation Planning, Elder Law and Probate Law Firm. We primarily assist clients in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, however, we also represent clients throughout the country who have family or property in South Florida. We look forward to serving your legal needs.
What Is Estate Planning and Why Do You Need It
Estate Planning is the process whereby a person develops a plan and prepares documents to conserve, protect, and distribute estate assets before and after death for the benefit of loved ones and charities, taking into consideration the effect of state and federal tax and administrative laws and regulations. It can also involve planning for the use of your assets for your care if you become unable to manage your affairs during your lifetime.
If you own a home, have some savings, or own any goods such as a car or furniture, then you have an estate. Planning for the future will affect the financial security of those you love. If you don’t plan for what happens to your estate upon your death, the government will make those decisions for you.
You should have an estate plan if:
- you care about who inherits your property;
- you care about your health care treatment;
- you are the parent of minor or disabled children; and/or
- you want to avoid the public proceedings of a possible guardianship and/or probate.
How We Can Help You: Family Wealth Preservation Strategies:
At the Law Offices of Barbara Buxton, P.A., we know that your estate is a reflection of years of hard work, careful planning and good decisions. That’s why we dedicate considerable time to design plans that are tailored to meet your unique needs and help ensure a secure future for those closest to you. We provide practical solutions to estate planning and asset preservation concerns to accomplish our clients’ wishes, including maintaining management and control of their estate, while at the same time avoiding probate, protecting family members, ensuring their financial privacy, obtaining peace of mind and avoiding unnecessary taxes. We understand that every estate, regardless of size, is important.
With an advanced Master of Laws in Estate Planning (LL.M.), Florida Estate Planning attorney and Wills, Trusts and Estates lawyer, Ms. Buxton handles all aspects of estate planning, including creating wills and trusts, powers of attorney, living wills, warranty deeds and prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements; asset preservation planning and wealth preservation planning; planning for incapacity and disability; and minimizing or eliminating federal and state tax liability. A Revocable Living Trust is usually recommended as the cornerstone of our clients’ estate plan. A fully funded Revocable Living Trust offers complete control to clients during their lifetime, provides for them and their loved ones in the event of their incapacity and on death allows them to pass their assets to their loved ones without the costs, delays and publicity associated with probate.
We can teach you how to direct your assets using a variety of methods including:
- Making use of the federal and state gift, estate, and generation-skipping tax exclusion to transfer assets
- Trust Agreements (including A-B subtrusts, Crummey powers, Gifts, QPRTs, QDOTs, QTIPs, GRATs, Life Insurance trusts, Spendthrift trusts and others)
- Family Limited Partnerships
- Charitable Remainder Trusts
- Living trusts and life estates
- Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements
Creating Your Estate Plan
To achieve a client’s estate planning objectives, we have an Initial Conference to make recommendations based on a comprehensive review of an individual’s assets and general situation, and the personal goals of our clients. We will analyze your estate, including your business organization and financing structures and learn about you and your family. Next, we will help you define your estate planning objectives and provide you with the most effective means of achieving those objectives, including prudent tax planning and asset preservation planning. For more complex estates, we will often schedule additional meetings to develop your customized estate plan, which may involve the use of Family Limited Partnerships and Charitable/Private Foundations.
Following the Initial Conference, we will schedule a telephone conference with you to review specific assets of your estate plan. After your telephone conference, you will receive drafts of your estate planning documents. After your draft review, we will have a telephone conference to review your documents in detail, explaining what each document does for you and how your documents interact with each other. You will then make an appointment to return to our office to have your “Signing Ceremony.” Once signed, we will provide you with your original estate planning documents and an “Estate Planning Portfolio”. This portfolio not only contains a copy of all of your estate plan documents which we prepared for you, but also vital, important information for you and your family’s use.
We will then assist you with a very important aspect of your estate planning, the “Funding Phase”, to ensure your estate plan works for you. The Funding Phase is the process of transferring assets to your Revocable Living Trust. Your most valuable assets, as determined by you in your estate plan, must be titled with the Trust’s name for the trust to afford any benefit to your family.
Simple Estate Planning
Complex Estate Planning
The possibilities of documents used in your estate plan are endless, but you can be sure that every action taken is in your best interest. Numerous state and federal laws can also complicate the estate planning process. Yet, despite the complexities, we will take the time to help you understand how the various laws affect you and exactly how each document affects your estate.
Our law firm provides for continuing legal education to assure that our clients are offered the most updated legal advice. More importantly, when your plan is completed, you can be confident that the people or charitable organizations you choose will actually benefit from your estate.
While each situation is different, an attorney who regularly practices in the field of Florida wills, trusts, probate and estate planning is able to provide you with sound legal advice as you put your estate plan into place. Of equal importance is the need to annually review our clients’ estate plans and asset preservation strategies to account for changes in laws or the acquisition or disposition of assets. The costs of failing to update are typically greater than the costs of keeping your estate plan and asset preservation strategies current.
Please also visit our Estate Planning Glossary for a description of various estate planning documents, and Gift and Estate Planning for further information. Please feel free to contact our office if you or a family member would like legal assistance to create a Florida will, trust, power of attorney, special needs trusts, pre and post-nuptial agreement and other estate planning documents that are tailored for your needs, and would like to set an appointment to have your situation evaluated. We look forward to assisting you with your estate planning needs.