The Baby Boomers’ Barrister is an estate planning law firm in St. Petersburg, Florida that works with clients to assist them with their wills, trusts, living wills, powers of attorney, and other estate planning needs. Many people think estate planning is only for the rich. The truth is that everybody already has an estate plan. The State of Florida knows that everybody dies, and everybody has things. They don’t want your things lying around after you die, so they have already decided who will get them. This is known as Florida’s intestate law. If you die without a will, trust, or other estate planning measure, Florida law dictates how your property and assets will be distributed after you pass away. If you have a surviving spouse, and only have children with that spouse, your spouse will inherit everything. So, if you have a spouse, but also want to ensure that your wishes are honored regarding how your children will inherit your estate, having a will in place can be helpful. If you have children, but no surviving spouse, your children will inherit everything and the assets and proceeds will be divided evenly among the children. However, the state won’t necessarily know what your wishes for each child might have been. (For example, if you wanted one child to get the house and the other child to receive the money in your bank account, the state might not know this, unless provisions have been made through an estate plan.) So, if you own a home, the state may call for the sale of the home and the splitting of the proceeds. In volatile times, selling may not be the best course of action, so having a will or estate plan in place for how your children will inherit your assets is essential. Things can get more complicated if you have children from a former marriage, but remarried. Without a will or estate plan, your estate may be divided in half between your current spouse and children. Without a will, or estate plan, you leave your legacy up to the state to decide. Rather than doing this, consider taking the time to plan your estate today. The estate planning lawyer in St. Petersburg, Florida at the Baby Boomers’ Barrister is here for you.
Probate – Probate – to ensure your affairs are settled, the state supervises the distribution through a process known as probate. This is the case whether you have a will or not. Probate can take a long time, be expensive, and is public record. Customized estate plans may utilize a range of estate planning options, including trusts.
Wills — If you don’t like the plan the state has developed for you, you can develop your own plan. You do this by writing a will. In this case, you, rather than the state, decide who gets your things. Even if you have a will, however, the state will still supervise the distribution through the probate process. There are very strict rules governing the execution of a will. It is important to have competent legal advice and assistance when executing a will to ensure it is valid. Baby Boomers’ Barrister is an estate planning law firm in St. Petersburg, Florida that is here for you to help you with all aspects of the estate planning process—from creation of a will and estate plan to helping your family navigate the complexities of probate.
Trusts — You can develop your plan and avoid probate by establishing a Revocable Living Trust. In this case, you appoint a trustee to supervise the distribution of your things rather than having the probate court do it. The process is private, quick, and can be much less expensive than probate. There are several additional benefits of a trust. Besides avoiding probate, property in the trust is protected from creditors of the beneficiaries. It is also protected from a beneficiary’s divorce settlement. Finally, as the name implies, it is revocable, it can be changed or amended and property can be put into it and taken out of it at any time.
You can make it easy on those left behind, avoid the costs of probate, and keep the government out of your life (or, in this case, death) by developing your own, customized estate plan. It is never too soon to begin planning ahead. Reach out to the Baby Boomers’ Barrister, an estate planning law firm in St. Petersburg, Florida today.
Advance Directives — It is also important to designate someone to make financial and healthcare decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated and are unable to make decisions for yourself. You do this by executing a Financial Power of Attorney, Heath Care Surrogate Designation, and Living Will. If you neglect to appoint an agent to make these decisions, someone will have to petition the court to appoint someone to control your assets and make medical decisions for you. This is an expensive and unwanted burden in a time of stress. Baby Boomers’ Barrister is an estate planning law firm in St. Petersburg, Florida that may be able to help you navigate the range of scenarios that may arise given your unique financial and family situation.
Estate Planning in St. Petersburg, Florida – For Peace of Mind
Control your property while you’re alive and well, when you are alive and not so well, and when you pass away. One aspect of estate planning that is important to consider is the aspect of your plan that considers how decisions about your financial and medical affairs will be made should you fall ill and become incapacitated. Don’t leave it up to medical personnel or the state to decide what happens. And don’t leave your family in the dark. Speak to an estate planning lawyer in St. Petersburg, Florida today. The Baby Boomers’ Barrister is an estate planning law firm in St. Petersburg, Florida that is here for you to help you with a range of estate planning matters.
Ensure that your wisdom is transferred along with your wealth. Protect the inheritance of your heirs from creditors, former spouses, or – in the event they are not quite responsible enough – from themselves. Minimize family conflict after your death. An estate plan can take into account all your concerns regarding your wealth to ensure that your wishes are honored and your heirs are cared for. Reach out to the estate planning law firm, the Baby Boomers’ Barrister, in St. Petersburg, Florida today.