Lantana, FL Estate Planning Attorney

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Many people are under the impression that estate planning is only meant for two kinds of people: the elderly and the rich. This simply isn’t true. While many would like to think that they’ll grow old before anything happens to them, and that’s certainly what we wish for them as well, that isn’t always feasible, as tomorrow is never guaranteed. Furthermore, estate planning isn’t just for the rich, it’s for any person who owns assets or property. 

It’s important to remember that even if you’re in perfect health, illness or tragedy can strike at any time and if your affairs are out of order, it can negatively affect the ones you leave behind. If you die without a proper estate plan in place, your family might be left wondering what your wishes were for everything you’ve worked so hard for, and they may have to go through the extensive probate process for your assets to even be distributed. The probate process can be time-consuming, expensive and stressful. That’s a huge burden to bear when they’re already in mourning. 

An estate plan will clearly outline your wishes for your assets, property and minor children (if you have them) so that your loved ones are not only taken care of in the event that you pass away or become incapacitated, but can rest easy knowing that your desires were carried out. Our Lantana estate planning attorney can help you create a comprehensive estate plan that will shield your family from the possibility of probate and protect them when you’re no longer here! Call Elder Law, P.A., today to schedule your free consultation. 

What Does Estate Planning Entail?

There are many different aspects of the estate planning process, but the main ones include: 

Drafting Wills

Wills are legal documents that express someone’s wishes for how their assets should be distributed after they pass away. They are often thought to be much simpler than they actually are, so it’s important to understand the various types of wills available so that you choose the one best suited to your needs. Some examples include…

  • Living wills – document that explains what kind of medical care you want to receive (life support, medication, etc.) if you become incapacitated. 
  • Last will and testament – document that communicates a person’s final wishes in the event of their death.
  • Joint will – combines the wills of living spouses.
  • Pour-over will – document that works with a living trust to ensure that assets and property that you didn’t put into your trust during your lifetime will be “poured-over” into your trust upon your death. 
  • And more!

Creating Trusts

When you put assets into a trust, it’s deemed “trust property,” and the person you name as a trustee will manage the assets on behalf of your named beneficiary. Trusts go into effect immediately and do not have to undergo probate upon your death. Some examples of the different types of trusts include…

  • Revocable trust – an entity that holds onto your assets, but still grants you the  ability to control or alter them during your lifetime.
  • Irrevocable trust – does the same thing as a revocable trust but once established generally cannot be altered, modified or revoked at any point in time. 
  • Special needs trust – a supplemental needs trust that generally enables those with special needs to receive financial assistance without jeopardizing their eligibility for public benefits like SSI or Medicaid. 
  • And more!

Designating Power Of Attorney 

A power of attorney allows you to designate authority to someone you trust so that they can make legal, medical, and financial decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. 

And more!

How Our Lantana Estate Planning Attorney Can Help

While it may be appealing to forego legal assistance and utilize the free will and trust templates you can find online, you’d be compromising quality for price. Often, the information and legal language on these templates is inaccurate, which can lead to you making costly mistakes that render your estate plan ineffective and thus useless to your family. That’s why you should always work with a Lantana estate planning attorney who can explain your options and guide you through each step of the planning process. 

Our lead lawyer, Ryan J. Smollar, is deeply attuned to his clients’ needs and can assist you in successfully creating an estate plan that can provide you with peace of mind knowing your family will be taken care of even after you’re gone. Call today for a free consultation and learn about what comes next. 

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Lantana, FL Practice Areas

Natalie was amazing handling my dads medicaid application process, easy to communicate and we found the process very straight forward with their guidance. We would highly recommend their services to everyone who is in need of elder law, with our family all working full time and busy lives they gave us a peace of mind knowing they were working on getting things done.

Giovana H.

Ryan really cares about his clients, and it shows in the way that he advises them. He is extremely knowledgeable about elder law, and explains the rules in a clear manner. The issues can be difficult on family members to discuss, and he handles the material in a compassionate manner.

Joseph M.

Elder Law, P.A.

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