A Will is an essential part of a comprehensive estate plan because it allows you to bequeath your estate to loved ones. Unfortunately, this document alone is not always enough to protect your family and your assets:
Did you know:
- A Will does not avoid probate.
- To probate a Will costs 3% to 8% of your estate, and may take 9 to 12 months!
- A Will becomes a public document when it is filed with the Court- Anyone can read it!
- A Will does not necessarily determine who will receive your assets.
- Multiple probates could be required if real estate is owned in another state.
- The Court controls when beneficiaries under your Will receive their inheritance, and it may take years!
A Revocable or Living Trust is often recommended because it:
- Avoids probate delays and expenses, including multiple probates if you own real estate in other states;
- Represents opportunity for professional asset management;
- Avoids guardianship;
- Brings all your assets together under one vehicle;
- Saves money on or eliminates estate taxes;
- Provides faster and Flexible distribution of assets to beneficiaries;
- Can protect dependents with special needs;
- Prevents court control of inheritance by minors;
- Difficult for “interested parties” to contest;
- Prevents unintentional disinheriting and other problems of joint ownership;
- Is inexpensive, easy to set up and maintain;
- Can be changed or canceled at any time; and
- Ensures maximum privacy
Other types of trusts that may be recommended include: Charitable Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Irrevocable Life Trust Trusts, and Pet Trusts.
By creating a comprehensive estate plan you can:
- Protect and preserve your assets during life and after your death;
- Set up your estate so that after your death your assets are distributed quickly to your chosen beneficiaries;
- Avoid the high cost of probate in Florida or any other state where you own property;
- Maintain privacy;
- Bring together all your assets together under one estate plan;
- Save you and your family thousands of dollars in estate and gift taxes;
- Keep control of your care and your assets should you become incapacitated;
- Protect a child or grandchild who has special needs;
- Declare a pre-need guardian for a minor child;
- Set up your estate so that after your death your beneficiaries inherit your assets when you think it is best for them;
- Prevent the Courts from controlling a minor’s inheritance; and
- Minimize the possibility of a beneficiary contesting your estate plan.
Please contact our office if you or a family member is in need legal assistance with Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Asset Preservation, Estate and Gift Tax Planning, Probate and Estate Administration, Medicaid Planning and Eligibility, Elder law, Business and Corporate law, Contract law, or Real Estate transactions, and would like to set up an appointment to have your situation evaluated.