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If you don’t have an estate plan, the best time to make one is now! Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed for anyone, and if anything happens to you, your assets and your family members won’t be protected unless you have certain legal documents in place. Our knowledgeable West Palm Beach estate planning attorney, Ryan Jay Smollar, can help you draft a personalized plan that will give you peace of mind and preserve your legacy for future generations. Call today to schedule a free consultation and get started!

What Is An Estate Plan? 

Despite a common misconception that an estate plan is simply a will, it’s actually made up of much more. An estate plan consists of several legal tools that are intended to 

clarify what your wishes for your assets, property, and minor children (if you have them) are, so that your family isn’t left with uncertainty and financial jeopardy. There are several documents that make up an estate plan and if you want maximum protection, yours should include:

A will – designates who inherits what assets and it goes into effect after you pass away. They do have to undergo the time-consuming, expensive and stressful process of probate, which is why a will should be accompanied by other legal tools so that the process can be avoided. 

There are several different types of wills including, a last will and testament, joint will, a pour-over will and more. 

A trust – is a financial tool that legally owns your assets. It allows you to name a trustee who can manage it on your behalf, as well as heirs or beneficiaries who’ll inherit your assets. A trust, unlike a will, goes into effect right away and does not have to undergo probate. 

There are several types of trusts which fall under the category of revocable or irrevocable, including special needs trusts, charitable trusts, and more. 

A power of attorney – allows you to designate someone you trust to make important decisions on your behalf for things like medical care and financial and legal matters, if you become incapacitated. Powers of attorney are only effective during your lifetime. 

An advance directive – also known as a living will, allows you to spell out your wishes for medical care if you were to become incapacitated. 

Beneficiary designations – this ensures that your named beneficiaries don’t conflict with your will. If there was a conflict of interest, a beneficiary might be able to override things within your will. 

Why Do I Need One?

If you don’t make the decisions about what will happen to your assets, property and minor children, the state of Florida will do it for you. This can lead to many issues for the loved ones you leave behind as your belongings might end up in the wrong hands, and your minor children might be placed under the guardianship of someone you might not know or trust. 

Without a proper estate plan, your assets will also have to go under the tedious process of probate. This makes matters even more complicated and stressful for your loved ones during a time where their main focus should be mourning you. 

In order to spare your loved ones of the financial headache, it’s important to start planning now. We understand that the process might seem daunting or you might feel as though it can be taken care of another day, but tomorrow is never guaranteed. Start protecting your family today. 

How A West Palm Beach Estate Planning Attorney Can Help You 

If you don’t have an estate plan in place, now is a great time to start, especially with the help of a West Palm Beach Estate Planning Attorney. At Elder Law, P.A., we’ll take the time to get to know you so we can assess which aspects of an estate plan will best meet your unique needs. We’ll draft a plan that accurately reflects your life and wishes, answer your questions, and explain your next steps. Call today to book a free consultation with a West Palm Beach Estate Planning Attorney. 

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West 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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