Palm Beach, FL – Estate planning is an important area of the law for people who are thinking about a number of different issues related to their wealth and assets. People may want to organize their finances as they retire, plan inheritance for children or relatives, and even donate to charitable causes. Proper estate planning can ensure that all of these wishes are carried out and that property and money will be managed correctly through wills, trusts, and other legal documents.
Most people will at least want to draft a will to decide how their property will be dealt out among their family members following their passing. A will is the most basic instrument that can be used to accomplish these goals. However, under Florida law a will needs to be properly witnessed and notarized, as well as meet other legal requirements. The state does not accept handwritten wills or various other ways that can be used to bypass these formalities. For these reasons, a will should only be drafted with the help of a licensed professional.
Establishing a trust
Trusts are a versatile form of estate planning because they can start to function while the testator is still alive, and they can even be modified if necessary. Many individuals or families who need to meet complex goals that are more detailed than what can be accomplished with a simple will can benefit from a trust that dispenses property and assets gradually. An added benefit of establishing a trust is that it will avoid the time and court costs associated with probate.
Advance medical directives and power of attorney
It is possible that someone may not be able to oversee and control their own financial matters if they suddenly fall ill. The likelihood of this happening also increases with age. Power of attorney can give a trusted family member or relative broad powers to make a number of decisions on the incapacitated person’s behalf.
Each state has an intestacy statute that determines where property and money will go if someone dies without a will or estate plan. These are default rules that usually send the items to a spouse or children, then attempt to find more distant relatives if no immediate family members are available. This can be an undesirable result for some families, as it offers little control.
Getting in touch with an estate planning professional
An attorney who focuses on estate planning issues is available to answer all questions for local clients in the Palm Beach area. Potential clients can schedule a meeting with Moran and Associates to get advice specific to their situation.
Firm contact info:
2875 South Ocean Blvd. Suite 200, Palm Beach, FL 33480