There are few certainties in life..death and taxes are absolutes.
Let's face it -- we live in Florida, the state where more people retire to than any other. People have fortunes, both small and large. However, most people will let the government administer their estates rather than planning their estate. It doesn't matter if you own $100 or $1,000,000. You need to plan for your estate, both to minimize governmental interference, but also to minimize family squabbles. We are sensitive to your needs, and realize that your life is not simple. Together, we can find a solution that will put your mind at ease and also prevent family divisions.
Most people know about the will. It is simple and in many cases quite sufficient. However, we will offer you advice on living trusts, irrevocable trusts, living wills, and power of attorneys so that when the inevitable happens, your wishes will not be ignored.
For most people, wills are all that is required to dispose of property once someone died. Wills work best for uncomplicated and small estate, where little money is involved.
powers of attorney
A power of attorney gives someone else the legal authority to handle your affairs while you are living. Perhaps because you are incapcitated or undergoing a surgery. However, powers of attorney are not valid AFTER someone has died.
Health care surrogates
A health care surrogate is someone designated to make medical decisions on your behalf. This is important because if for some reason you are incapacitated and cannot make a difficult medical decision, someone you trust should be there to act on your behalf.
A living will gives another person authority to withdraw artificial life support or nutrition when there is nearly no chance of recovery. Many people do this to ensure that their families will not be burdened with huge medical costs or to avoid living in a permanent vegetative state. However, the living will can also specify that one wants to have artificial life support and nutrition at all costs.
For those with complicated estates - namely those with larger amounts of money or complicated families - the trust is very exact in its purpose to dispose of assets in a particular manner at death. It does this by giving control of assets to a ficticious legal device - the trust - while one is still living so that the role of attorneys and courts are greatly reduced. While trusts are generally more expensive to create than a simple will, the later savings more than justifies their cost.
Mourning the loss of a loved one is a trying process. Unfortunately, disputes over a deceased's assets cause strife in many families. Our firm is here to help settle will contests/disputes and ensure that your loved one's wishes are honored. We administer everything from simple cases that only require a summary administration to more complex cases that require a formal administration.