Wills, Trusts and Estates

Comprehensive estate planning services in Florida

A good estate plan is comprised of many parts. These can include a will, one or more trusts, a durable power of attorney, a healthcare surrogate and a living will (often called an advance healthcare directive). While not every one of these may be necessary in all estate plans, effectively utilizing these tools when necessary allows the client to effectively convey their final wishes and allows their families and loved ones to receive the maximum benefits of their estates.

 

The Importance of a Last Will and Testament

The essential element of every estate plan should be the Last Will and Testament or a Will. Everyone over the age of 18 needs a Will. A Will is a legal document that gives instruction on how to convey or pass a person’s property after that person dies. Wills can vary greatly in complexity depending on the size of the estate, the number of beneficiaries and the specificity of the instructions. But all Wills must conform to certain legal standards and should contain certain essential provisions. The Estate Planning attorneys of Burke Blue have the experience and knowledge to ascertain a client’s specific needs and then draft Wills accordingly.

 

Trusts as estate planning tools

A secondary estate planning tool of increasing popularity is a trust. Trusts come in many forms and have many uses. Trusts can be used to keep client assets out of probate and can be a valuable tool for providing long-term financial security and income to minor children or disabled adults should something happen to their guardian. A trust can also help minimize estate taxes and provide security for a spouse in family situations with children from a previous marriage. For example, the testator can provide for a spouse for their lifetime and still ultimately pass his or her property to his or her children after the spouse’s death. The estate planning attorneys of Burke Blue have thorough knowledge of the law of trusts, and can design individualized comprehensive trust instruments to serve the unique goals and needs of our clients.

 

Never too early to plan for the future

There is a common misconception that estate planning is not necessary until late in a person’s life. This could not be farther from the truth. When a person dies without an estate plan, the law distributes their assets according to a statutory plan called intestacy. Unfortunately, this is a one-size-fits-all distribution scheme that can cause problems for minor or disabled beneficiaries. Putting into place a comprehensive estate plan from one of our experienced estate planning lawyers, parents of young children and other young adults can help their loved ones avoid the uncertainty and stress of intestacy. The only way to ensure that your wishes are carried out if something were to happen to you is to have an estate plan in place.

 

45 years of providing comprehensive legal services to businesses and individuals throughout Northwest Florida

The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience or contact us online or by phone at 850-769-1414 for Panama City; 850-236-4444 for Panama City Beach.

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