Estate Planning - Benjamin Law, P.A.

IT‘S NOT JUST PAPER, IT’’S YOUR LEGACY

A comprehensive estate plan involves the drafting of wills, trusts, and other types of planning documents. Benjamin Law, P.A. can help you complete various documents that are designed to protect your final wishes and the interests of your loved ones.

Many people think that they don’t have an estate and that estate planning is just for the rich and wealthy. That is not true. Being wealthy is not necessary for Florida estate planning to be beneficial. The most important issue regarding estate planning is figuring out what would occur in case you transition or you become incapacitated and making sure your desired outcome comes true.

What Does My Estate Include?

Simply put, your estate is everything that you own, anywhere in the world, including:

  • Your home or any other real estate that you own
  • Any interests you may have in any business
  • Your share of any joint accounts
  • The full value of your retirement accounts
  • Any life insurance policies that you own
  • Any property owned by a trust, over which you have a significant control

Estate planning is not a one-time thing, it is a life-long commitment that considers the ongoing changes in your life, your legacy, and the law.

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Estate Planning - Benjamin Law, P.A.What Estate Planning Documents Should I Have?

A comprehensive estate plan should include the following documents, prepared by an attorney based on in-depth counseling which takes into account your particular family and financial situation:

Living Trust
A Living Trust can be used to hold legal title to and provide a structure to manage your property. You (and your spouse or partner) are the Trustee(s) and beneficiaries of your trust during your lifetime. You also designate successor Trustees to carry out your instructions as you have provided in case of death or incapacity. Unlike a Will, a Trust usually becomes effective immediately after incapacity or death. Your

Living Trust is revocable, which allows you to make changes and even to terminate it. One of the benefits of a properly funded Living Trust is the fact that it will avoid or minimize the expense, delays and publicity associated with probate.

Last Will and Testament
A Will, also referred to as a Last Will and Testament, is primarily designed to transfer your assets according to your wishes. A Will also typically names someone you select to be your Executor, who is the person you designate to carry out your instructions. If you have minor children, you should also name a Guardian as well as alternate Guardians in case your first choice is unable or unwilling to serve. A Will only becomes effective upon your death, and after it is admitted by a probate court.

Power of Attorney
A Durable Financial Power of Attorney allows you to carry on your financial affairs in the event that you become disabled. Unless you have a properly drafted power of attorney, it may be necessary to apply to a court to have a guardian or conservator appointed to make decisions for you when you are disabled. This guardianship process is time-consuming, emotionally draining, and can costs thousands of dollars.

Appointing a power of attorney assures that your wishes are carried out exactly as you want them, allows you to decide who will make decisions for you, and is effective immediately upon subsequent disability.

The law allows you to appoint someone you trust – for example, a family member or close friend to decide about medical treatment options if you lose the ability to decide for yourself. You can do this by using an Advance Directive (previously called a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care) where you designate the person or persons to make such decisions on your behalf.

At Benjamin Law, P.A., we believe that an estate plan is more than just a set of legal documents. It’s a roadmap for the future that not only protects your personal interests, but also those of your loved ones. Contact us today to schedule a consultation

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