Plan your estate with expert care by letting our team counsel you in these important life decisions.
Estate planning is the process of arranging your affairs to answer the following questions:
- Who will make medical and financial decisions for me when I cannot do so? By creating a Health Care Advance Directive and Durable Power of Attorney, you are able to designate your spouse, child, sibling, or friend to make these important decisions for you. You may also create a ‘Living Will’ to let your family and others know whether you want heroic measures taken if you have a terminal condition or similar event.
- Who will receive your home, bank accounts, and other assets? This question is often answered with the creation of a Last Will and Testament, a Revocable Living Trust, beneficiary designations, and similar instruments.
- Will my estate be subject to probate administration? Most people seek to avoid probate administration, which is possible with a Revocable Living Trust, beneficiary designations, and similar techniques.
- Will my estate be subject to taxes? The State of Florida does not impose a ‘death tax’, ‘estate tax’, ‘inheritance tax’, or other tax on decedent’s estates. The federal estate tax is currently 40% of the value of the decedent’s estate above the exemption amount (currently set at $5.3 million). The tax burden may be reduced through the use of irrevocable trusts and other means.
Other issues addressed in estate planning include burial and cremation wishes, designations of guardians for children and others, special needs arrangements, charitable gifts, and many other matters.