request a consultation
Fill out our contact form and we’ll be in touch with you right away.
Estate planning allows the planner to take care of and watch out for their beneficiaries in case of incapacitation or death. It helps you stay ahead of the curve while protecting what you have worked your entire life to build.
Through an estate plan, you can:
- Have your assets allocated according to your wishes upon your death
- Protect your beneficiaries
- Properly manage your finances and long-term care if you become incompetent and are unable to handle your own affairs
- Decrease the potential for disputes surrounding your estate
- Decrease the federal and state estate taxes your estate may owe after your passing
However, estate planning can be complex and confusing. To make matters worse, if drafted wrong or not signed correctly, your estate planning documents may not be enforceable when you die. For these reasons and many more, working with an experienced Largo estate planning attorney is imperative when planning for your desires after you are gone.
What Estate Planning Covers
Estate planning is a method of creating instructions for your assets after you are gone. However, it isn’t just about your money or belongings. Your estate plan can and should include details about:
- Who will raise your children and handle their money if you die before they turn 18
- Who will make decisions on your behalf should you become mentally or physically unable to do so
- How your kids will receive the money allocated to them
- Who receives your specific assets and how much they receive
- Protecting your estate from creditors
- Business transfers upon your death
- Using various procedures that reduce taxes on your estate
- Ways to avoid taxes on your estate, such as through a trust
Suppose you have specific concerns or needs that should be addressed during the estate planning process. In that case, a knowledgeable Largo estate planning lawyer can help.
Frequently Asked Questions from our Clients
Do You Need a Will?
No law exists that requires individuals to have a will. However, it’s always an excellent idea to make plans regarding the dispersal of your wealth and property after you pass away that will be legally binding.
Drafting a will gives you control over how your assets will be distributed when your life is over. If you die without a will, you won’t have any say in how your personal property, real estate, and finances are dealt with after you are gone. A will is a legal vehicle that lets you decide who will get your assets or whether certain people shouldn’t be allowed to receive any of your property. This is called disinheriting an heir. Often, choosing and identifying someone who is responsible for managing your affairs can make all the difference in how easily and quickly your estate is distributed and closed. Many who draft a will have peace of mind knowing they’ve selected a person they know and trust to handle their final affairs.
Suppose you have minor children. In that case, a will lets you create a plan for their care in the unfortunate situation that you die while they are still minors. Another benefit is that a will can often permit your surviving heirs to avoid a lengthy, confusing, and complex probate process. Keep in mind that a will isn’t permanent and can be changed at any time during your lifetime. You can make any changes you see necessary if you decide to distribute your estate differently down the road due to a change in your relationships, financial status, or any other reason.
What is a Living Will/Advance Healthcare Directive?
A living will is a statement that details your desires concerning your medical treatment if you can no longer communicate informed consent. An advanced healthcare directive provides specific instructions to healthcare providers if certain types of circumstances arise. For instance, if you are in a coma, in a vegetative state, terminally ill, or so sick that you cannot communicate, the advanced healthcare directive can inform your treating physicians of what measures they should use to treat you and which measures you wouldn’t want taken. Frequently, people use an advanced healthcare directive to inform their healthcare team that they don’t want any extraordinary life-saving measures, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
A power of attorney is a part of an advanced healthcare directive that allows you to select someone who can make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself. This is also referred to as a durable power of attorney, a healthcare proxy, or a healthcare surrogate. When appointing a power of attorney, make sure you choose an individual you trust and spend enough time explaining and discussing your wishes with them. The more they know, the more they can act accordingly if and when the time comes for you to rely on them for help.
A living will or advanced healthcare directive ensures your desires are honored even when you can’t explain or voice them on your own behalf. Unfortunately, far too many Floridians think that these options are only necessary or permitted for the elderly. However, even young people can and should consider making some plans for their health care and the distribution of their assets if something unexpected occurs.
Questions about Drafting a Will? Meet With an Experienced Largo Estate Planning Attorney Today
The experienced Largo estate planning lawyers at Mickey Keenan, PA, understand that planning your estate can sometimes be difficult. It is hard to imagine a time when you are no longer here, and your loved ones are left to pick up the pieces. However, you can make your passing much easier and less expensive for them by having an estate plan in place when you die. Our attorneys take the time to understand your concerns and desires, explaining which options might be best to include in your estate plan. You get to decide what is best for you and your family. We ensure that your wishes are appropriately expressed and that your documents are legally binding. Call 813-871-1300 or contact us online today to learn more about how we can help you with planning your estate.