It is often said that we are only gifted with the present, with no guarantees for the future. If you believe in this saying, then you are interested in what will happen with your assets after you are no longer alive. While this might sound morbid, it is a positive thing to prepare for your death. Professional lawyers can help you with estate planning, being well aware of the laws of Sarasota and Florida County. Keep on reading and discover more information on the subject.
Estate planning at a glance
Estate planning refers to a form of legal assistance, which can be provided to those who are interested in protecting their assets once no longer alive. Similar support can be provided for the distribution of these assets to a number of heirs; basically, one is given the opportunity to control how these assets are going to be distributed and, more specifically, to whom.
How can professional lawyers help you? Well, first of all, they are up-to-date with the estate planning laws of Sarasota and Florida County, as it was already mentioned. They can also prepare the documents necessary for estate planning, helping one avoid or minimize any existent taxes. Depending on your needs, they might help you set aside a part of your assets, to cover medical expenses (including the ones for assisted living or long-term nursing care).
You can resort to such services to create a trust for your heirs, depending of course on your assets and your additional plans. The most important thing to remember is that Florida law is complex, which means that you need an estate lawyer by your side. Such a specialist knows the rules and regulations that have to be followed, being able to guarantee that all documents related to your estate planning are compliant from a legal perspective.
Estate planning services for Sarasota residents (Florida County)
Last will & testament
Drawing up a will is something a lot of people are interested in, as it allows them to control what will happen to their assets. The distribution of one’s assets is easily arranged through a valid will – all you have to do is name a representative, this person being responsible for ensuring that your wishes are followed.
A lawyer can help you draw your last will, making sure that all legal requirements are fulfilled and that the will is valid. They can also create a trust within the said will, with specific provisions and tax-related savings. On the other hand, if you will fail to draw up a will, once you are no longer alive, your assets are going to be distributed according to Florida Legal Codes.
A revocable trust can provide you with control over your assets while you are alive, as well as help those who inherit them to minimize taxes and avoid probate. The trust agreement determines how your assets are going to be distributed, with a personal representative being responsible for the actual distribution.
Professional lawyers can review your estate plan and determine whether a revocable trust is a suitable choice for your situation or not. They will also handle all of the documentation necessary for the creation of the trust agreement. These specialists can make sure that the revocable trust is valid and that only the stipulated assets will be transferred to the trust in question.
As the name states it, this is a type of trust that cannot be revoked. If you are going to opt for an irrevocable trust, you should name as your trustee a person in which you have complete faith. This will guarantee adequate protection for your assets, not to mention it will protect you from having to liquidate your estate to cover medical expenses (long-term/assisted living care).
The main idea behind the irrevocable trust is that you will no longer be in control of your assets, as you will hand this responsibility to your trustee. The irrevocable trust is a good choice for disabled persons, not to mention it represents an ingenious way to protect different assets from creditors. As your estate lawyer will tell you, the trustee can be removed and replaced at any moment you might desire.
Power of attorney
In simple terms, power of attorney refers to a legal document which will cover what will happen in case you are unable to make important decisions. You will give the authority to make decisions to another person, in whom you have complete trust. You can give another person general power of attorney, this meaning that the individual in question will have the authority to take all decisions in your name. Or, as an alternative, you can opt for limited power of attorney, offering authority only certain decisions (also over a limited period).
Why should you consider estate planning?
From what has already been written above, you have probably figured out some of the reasons for which estate planning might be a good idea. Sarasota estate planning attorneys can help you create an estate plan – thus, you will be able to determine what happens to your assets and ensure their proper distribution.
To summarize, Sarasota estate planning attorneys can help you create a will and a trust, which will determine how your assets will be distributed among heirs. Thanks to their experience and knowledge about Florida laws, they can also handle guardianship issues, power of attorney (for financial and healthcare decisions) and probate matters. They can create customized plans for your estate and help you avoid or minimize certain taxes.
Planning your future is important, especially when it comes to your estate and different assets you might possess. Allow Sarasota estate planning attorneys, such as Band, Gates & Dramis, P.L., to provide you with the help you need, making sure that you provide for those that will be left behind. This will give you peace of mind, allowing you to live your life to the fullest.