Winter Park Estate Planning Lawyer
Wills & Trusts in Florida
Since we cannot predict when accidents or illness may strike, it’s
extremely important to establish an
estate plan so that our futures and the future of our loved ones are protected. When
you are looking for an attorney to establish a will or a trust on your
behalf, it’s important to work with a lawyer who is ethical, experienced
and committed to client satisfaction.
Richard A. Heller, P.A., our hard work and dedication has earned us an A+ Rating with the
Better Business Bureau (BBB), and we have a
BV® Distinguished™ Rating from Martindale-Hubbell® for having high ethical standards
and legal ability.
Importance of Drafting a Will
A will allows you to decide who receives your assets and when. Without
a will, your assets and property will be distributed in accordance with
Florida law, which may not align with your personal wishes. A will is
a fluid document which has no effect until you die; therefore, you can
change it whenever you want. Just a few of the things a will can do:
- Appoint a personal representative to settle your estate after you pass.
- Name a guardian for minor children.
- Leave specific instructions for any personal property that you own (jewelry,
artwork, furniture, and collectibles etc.).
Everyone should have a will regardless if they are married, single, divorced,
and childless, in good health or in bad health simply because without
one, you cannot determine who receives your property. Even when you die
without any living relatives, the state will not permit any distributions
to a friend or favorite charity without a will. Instead, the property
would go directly to the state.
Revocable Trusts & Irrevocable Trusts
There are two basic types of trusts: living trusts and testamentary trusts.
Living trusts are set up during the person’s lifetime and testamentary
trusts are set up in a will and established after the death of the person
when the will goes into effect. Living trusts can be “revocable”
Revocable trusts allow you to maintain control over the trust assets and
you can revoke or change the terms of the trust at any time.
With an irrevocable trust, the assets are no longer yours and you typically
can’t make any changes without the beneficiary’s consent.
There are many different types of trusts that serve different purposes,
some of which include:
- Credit Shelter Trusts (bypass or family trust)
- Generation-Skipping Trusts
- Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
- Special Needs Trusts
- Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trusts
With a trust, a trustee holds legal title to the property for another person,
called the beneficiary. However, you can be the trustee of your own living
trust during your lifetime, thereby allowing you to keep full control
over the assets held in the trust. Different types of trusts can help
probate, reduce estate taxes, or set up long-term property management.
To learn more about wills & trusts and how our estate planning services
can help you,
contact a Winter Park estate planning attorney from Richard A. Heller, P.A.!