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Getting The Answers To Estate Planning Questions

Last updated on September 23, 2021

There are many documents involved in estate planning, from a very simple will to beneficiary designations to powers of attorney to trusts. Akin Law P.A. is here to help. Our attorneys, Sherrille and Dain Akin, have extensive Florida estate planning experience. As attorneys who also practice business law, they are knowledgeable advisers for business owners regarding plans and succession. Below are answers to estate planning questions we commonly receive from our clients.

Who should have a will?

Remarkably, any adult can benefit from making a last will and testament. A will lays out “who gets what” as well as who should raise your children if you and the other parent are unable. A will can also communicate which charities and other organizations you would like to receive assets. A will is an essential part of any estate plan. Having an attorney work with you can ensure your will is valid and filed. An attorney will also go through your bank, retirement and other accounts with you to ensure you have designated beneficiaries.

What is the purpose of a trust?

Trusts work to protect your assets from taxes, creditors and potentially probate. A trust can be revocable and have you or someone else as the trustee, or it can be irrevocable and not able to be accessed until after your death. Assets that are held in a trust are not included as part of your estate and therefore are not part of Florida probate. A trust can also be a viable way to avoid or reduce inheritance taxes or estate taxes.

What is the best way to avoid probate?

The best way to avoid Florida probate is to make sure your accounts all have named beneficiaries and that any property valued collectively over $75,000 in 2021 is held in a trust. Your bank accounts, retirement accounts, annuities and life insurance policies should all have named beneficiaries. Certificates of deposit need to be transferable on death (TOD or POD). You may wish to put your brokerage accounts in a trust as well as your home or motor vehicle in order to stay below the $75,000 probate threshold. Working with an established estate planning attorney can ensure that all relevant assets are appropriately designated or allocated. Go to our FAQ page on Probate for more details.

Get Answers To Your Estate Planning Questions

We know you have questions regarding which documents best fit with your situation and goals. We are here to help. Call 386-271-4740 or reach the firm by filling out our online contact form. Serving clients in DeLand and throughout Volusia County.