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Revocable Living Trust – The cornerstone of a well-designed estate plan is a well drafted Revocable Living Trust. A revocable living trust is a document that will allow you and your family to plan for the disposition of your property should you become incapacitated or when you pass away, without the need for probate. Assets that are usually included in a revocable living trust include real estate, bank accounts, investment or retirement accounts, and anything else of value you possess and wish to pass on to your heirs. A revocable living trust will give you the additional freedom of having the ability to change it or amend it as your needs change and evolve throughout your life.
When preparing a revocable living trust to fit your needs and goals and protect your assets and loved ones, there are several factors to be considered and decisions that will have to be made. For example, you will have to think about who will care for you if you become disabled. You will have to determine who will pay bills and manage your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself. If you have minor children you will have to consider who will care for them and how you want your assets distributed among your loved ones. If privacy is a concern, a well-tailored trust allows you to protect your assets and maintain its ownership private. As important, when preparing a revocable living trust tax implications should be considered and addressed.
In order to create a comprehensive estate plan that will cover most potential eventualities and will afford you the peace of mind of knowing that your family and assets will be protected, we also offer a series of other estate planning tools to go along with a revocable living trust. After consultation with you we will be able to determine if there is any need for additional documents such as:
Durable Power of Attorney – A durable power of attorney is a document in which you appoint someone you trust as your attorney-in- fact, who is vested with the power to handle your assets, bank accounts, investments, and real estate, should you become incapacitated.
A durable power of attorney is often vital as it may avoid the need for your loved ones to have to petition the guardianship court to seek the legal authority to act on your behalf to pay your bills, manage your accounts/investments and protect your assets.
Healthcare Surrogate – A designation of health care surrogate is a document in which you appoint someone you trust as your health care surrogate, who is vested with the power to make health care decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated. A very important
aspect of this particular designation is the power to decide when to withdraw medical procedures.
The designation of health care surrogate is equally vital as it may avoid the need for your loved ones to have to petition the guardianship court to seek the legal authority to make those health-related decisions on your behalf during terms of incapacity. Living Will – A living will is a document in which you make a written declaration specifying your intentions and directions should you encounter a period in your life where you are incapacitated and you are being kept alive solely by artificial, life-prolonging procedures and doctors have made the determination that you have no medically reasonable opportunity for recovery. The typical instruction contained in a living will is the removal from life-prolonging procedures, but that is not necessarily the choice and direction that can be mandated by a living will in Florida.
Pre-need Guardianship designation – A pre-need guardian designation is a document in which you can designate and appoint and individual, your pre-need guardian, to serve as your legal guardian should you become incapacitated. You also have the opportunity to designate and appoint a pre-need guardian for your minor children in the event you become incapacitated or upon your death. Should you choose not to or fail to designate a pre-need guardian for yourself and/or your minor children, a guardianship court will make that decision for you in the event of your incapacity.
Special Needs & Qualified Income Trusts – These trusts will allow you to preserve and protect your eligibility for certain government benefits while still protecting and preserving your assets and income so they may be used for your care and benefit.
Our experienced attorneys will sit down with you and explain the need for any additional estate planning tools that will allow you to accomplish your exact goals.