Estate Planning Lawyers in Sarasota
Advocates in Aging Protects Your Future & Your Estate
What do you have planned for your retirement? In addition to planning for travel and family time, it’s a good idea to come up with a plan for the future disposition of your estate. Our estate planning lawyers in Sarasota have over 46 years of combined experience, and we can put this experience to work for you. Though difficult to talk about, planning for the future with an experienced lawyer can help put your mind at ease. Knowing that your loved ones will be taken care of and that your wishes will be respected when you pass away or become incapacitated gives you the confidence that comes from knowing your future is secure.
What Is Estate Planning?
Many people associate estate planning with the super wealthy, but it is an important part of planning for your future from which anyone can benefit. In addition to helping you establish and secure your financial goals for the future, it can also help you prepare for such things as declining health, disability, and the care of family members with special needs. While we cannot predict the future, we can put ourselves in the best possible position to handle the unexpected.
We regularly handle matters involving:
- Wills and trusts
- Long-term care plans, including nursing home selection
- Planning for the care or maintenance of a spouse
- Planning for the care of minor children and children with special needs
- Medicaid Planning
- Guardianships, conservatorships, and powers of attorneys
- Avoiding and dealing with probate and death taxes
- Charitable bequests
- Life and Long-term Care Insurance planning
- Planning for IRAs, 401ks and other retirement assets
Planning for the future can be complicated. For example, you may have a specific way you'd like your assets distributed, or you may intend to donate a portion of your estate to a charitable organization. With careful estate planning, you can be sure that your wishes will be carried out and that your family is taken care of. It can also help your family avoid unnecessary probate costs and other complications and delays.
What Is Needed to Prepare An Estate Plan?
In order to set up an estate plan you will need to arrange documents for the transfer of your estate and assets after your passing. Assets include but not limited to clothing, money, homes, cars, property, investments and savings accounts.
An effective estate plan will include the following documents:
Will: A document that includes your wishes for your estate and your child’s care
Trust: A document so your family does not go through the probate process
Health Care Directions: A document that includes your wishes when you are incapacitated
Power of Attorney: A document that gives a trusted person full control over your finances when you can not
Beneficiary Forms: A document that names beneficiaries of your assets/estate and allows them to not go through probate
Life Insurance: Having a life insurance policy set up will allow the burden of high estate taxes more manageable
Funeral Costs: You can create a payable-on-death account and put in money to pay for your funeral and other costs
Business Succession: A document that makes sure your business is taken care of
We understand that estate planning can be perplexing, our Sarasota estate planning attorney at Advocates in Aging is here to help guide you through the process in order to have a strong estate plan set up. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation.
Basic Components of a Comprehensive Estate Plan:
The most common type of document in an estate plan is a will. This outlines what is going to happen to your assets upon your passing. You are able to put conditions on your assets before they are distributed and who gets to receive any of your property. Parents are able to name guardians for their children in their wills. You can even provide to your animals in your will. An executor will also be named to carry out the closure of the estate.
An Advanced Medical Directive
In the event you become incapacitated or cannot communicate, a healthcare directive appoints someone to be able to make medical decisions for you. Healthcare directives also map out how you would like to be taken care of in the event of a medical emergency, stating what life-saving actions you want to decide on.
Power of Attorney
Someone who is able to make financial decisions for you is called a power of attorney. This person can take care of your taxes, bills, and look after your finances. Preventing the need for guardianship is another perk to having a power of attorney designated.
Transferring Assets to a Trust
Protecting the privacy of the estate and helping to avoid probate is why you would want to have a trust in place. A trustee is put in place to manage the trust and make sure the assets are distributed properly. Revocable trusts hold your assets and allow them to be transferred back to you. Once you pass however, the trust becomes irrevocable. Assets cannot go back to the grantor and they are no longer recognized as the owner in an irrevocable trust. Your assets are typically protected from nursing homes when using an irrevocable trust.
Benefits of Estate Planning
Having a well thought out estate plan really helps out your family's ability to make life-altering decisions if you were unable to. Having a health care directive and power of attorney documents in place enables people to step in and handle your duties if you cannot. If you don’t have an estate plan, the State of Florida will decide where your assets will be distributed.
Your Wishes Are Our Priority
Estate planning is very personal. At Advocates in Aging, we listen with compassion and make your needs our focus. Since 1983, we have proudly provided residents in Sarasota with top-quality estate planning services. We are prepared to use the wealth of knowledge we have gained to your benefit. If you have questions or concerns about what will happen to your estate, call us.
To find out how our Sarasota estate planning lawyers can help you, call Advocates in Aging at (941) 242-7270.
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