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Many people put off planning for the future because they think they will have plenty of time later on in life to get their affairs in order, but no one knows what their future will hold – “later” is never promised! 

If you pass away, become incapacitated, or suffer a negative life event such as an injury or divorce or lawsuit, and you don’t have an estate plan in place, everything that you’ve worked so hard for could be at risk; you could also leave everyone you love in a difficult position. That’s because your assets may be vulnerable to creditors and court costs, and Florida state law – not your wishes – will likely determine who gets what when you pass away. Your family may fight about what you would have wanted to happen. This isn’t the legacy you should leave behind! 

An estate plan is a collection of legal tools that will protect your wealth and your loved ones, both now and in the future. At Elder Law, P.A., we have been helping Palm Beach residents create customized estate plans since 2015. Our legal team is here to give you peace of mind. Call today to schedule a free consultation with our Palm Beach estate planning attorney and take your next steps!

What Does Estate Planning Involve?

Estate planning is more than just making a will. It is taking the time to consider all of the possibilities that the future may hold and what your desires are for what should happen to your assets and your family if those possibilities occur. For example, what if you are severely injured in a car accident and go into a coma, and require medical support to breathe on your own – do you want to be put on a ventilator, or do you not? What if you pass away before your kids are 18 – who do you want them to live with, and how do you want them to be raised? When you die, what family member should inherit your family heirlooms, or your retirement accounts? These are all important questions that are best answered ahead of time if you want to be the one to answer them. 

There are many different documents that a comprehensive estate plan should include in order to provide maximum protection, including:

A will  –  A will designates who will inherit what assets in the event of your death. Wills only go into effect after you pass and do have to undergo probate, a time-consuming and complex Florida court process, in order to be validated. There are different types of wills, with the most common being a last will and testament, a joint will (that combines wills of married spouses), a pour-over will (that converts into a trust), and others. 

A trust – A trust is a financial tool that owns assets within the entity, outside of the trust creator’s (“grantor’s”) name; a named trustee can manage the assets in the trust for the benefit of beneficiaries also named in the trust. Trusts go into effect right away and do not have to pass through probate. There are different types of trusts, such as revocable and irrevocable trusts (flexible vs. inflexible), charitable remainder trusts, special needs trusts, and others. 

A power of attorney – A power of attorney allows you to designate someone you trust as the appointed person to have final authority over medical, financial, and legal decisions to be made for you and your estate if you are not able to make decisions independently. Powers of attorney are only effective during your lifetime and can be limited based on the terms you specify. 

An advance directive – Also sometimes referred to as a living will, an advance directive allows you to spell out your explicit wishes for medical care in the event of your incapacitation. 

Beneficiary designations – Many people don’t realize this, but beneficiary designations on your accounts may override wishes set forth in a will if the two conflict; that’s why it is important to ensure that everything matches and is up-to-date. Also, most accounts that do have beneficiary designations do not have to pass through probate (an added benefit).  

And more. 

What Our Experienced Palm Beach Estate Planning Attorney Can Do For You

It can be tempting to seek out free templates online or attempt to create your estate plan yourself using free legal advice you find online, but you get what you pay for, and that’s especially true of estate planning. Information online isn’t always accurate or up-to-date with Florida estate laws, and it certainly isn’t personalized to your unique family’s needs. If you make mistakes, you could render your estate plan ineffective and essentially useless to your family; it may even end up costing them (and your estate) more money than if you had not even made one in the first place. It’s always necessary to work with an estate planning lawyer to design a plan you can rely on! 

Our Palm Beach estate planning attorney will take the time to get to know you and your goals so we can craft a plan that reflects your life. We will answer your questions, advise you as to which type of estate planning documents are right for you, and ensure your plan is up to date so it will keep your assets secure and out of probate! 

Call To Book A Free Consultation

Elder Law, P.A. has been helping Palm Beach residents with estate planning since 2015. Our firm is where knowledge and compassion meet to protect your legacy! Call today to book your free consultation and discuss your options with our Palm Beach estate planning attorney. 

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Palm Beach, 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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