The Importance Of A Will, Trust And Estate Plan For You And Your Family
An estate plan is a series of legal documents that allow you to control how your estate is managed and disposed of during your life, in the event that you become incapacitated, and after your death.
We can help you create a will, trust, advance directive, tax strategies to optimize your asset worth and avoid Florida probate. With decades of experience and a staff that is available to answer your questions, we at Akin Law P.A. are responsive and accessible.
The Benefits Of An Estate Plan
An estate plan has many benefits. It will help reduce or eliminate the uncertainties of probate administration. It will help maximize the value of your estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. An estate plan will also designate guardians for any minor children or dependent beneficiaries. An official estate plan is as simple or complicated as your needs dictate, but ultimately, the goal of an estate plan is to help you execute your specific wishes. This means that both you and your loved ones can rest easy, knowing that a plan is in place.
Five Main Parts Of An Estate Plan
Your estate plan contains your will and trust, beneficiary designations, designation of pre-need guardians, nominations of agents under powers of attorney, and distribution of property and gifts. Depending on your needs, the estate plan may also contain a strategy to defer or decrease estate or income taxes. Here are descriptions of each part:
- Will: The most common element in any estate plan, a will allows you to dictate exactly how you want your estate handled and where your assets should go after your death. It is very important to make sure your will is created in compliance with laws in the state where it was created and that it takes into consideration the laws of the state(s) where your property is located.
- Trust: A trust can be used to control the distribution of your assets following your death. Different types of trusts can be created to craft a plan that meets the specific needs of your estate and your beneficiaries. A trust can operate for as long or short of a duration as your specific situation dictates.
- Advance directive: Should you become legally incapacitated, advance directives allow you to make decisions about your health care and personal care. This portion of your estate plan can include your health care surrogate, living will, and durable power of attorney. Advance directives can help relieve some of the burdens from family members that are tasked with making decisions on your behalf and ensure that your wishes are reflected in those decisions. These plans can also prevent your family from having to pursue a guardianship.
- Tax strategies: Your estate plan can help minimize the amount of estate and gift taxes required to be paid on your behalf. Strategies can be put in place to begin distributing your assets prior to your death or utilizing other tax-free or tax-advantaged alternatives.
- Probate avoidance: Florida probate can be a very time-intensive and expensive process. A well-designed estate plan can minimize or eliminate the need for a complicated probate process.
Find Out More About What Your Estate Plan Should Entail
Every person, every family and every estate plan is different. It’s important to sit down with an established estate planning attorney and have a frank discussion about what you want, what you’d like to avoid and who you want to make decisions for you if you can’t. Call and arrange a consultation at 386-518-2215, or connect with our team with the website contact email form. Located in DeLand, we serve clients throughout Volusia County.