Winter Park Estate Planning Attorney
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.
At Richard A. Heller, P.A., our hard work and dedication has earned us an A+ accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, a top Superb Rating from AVVO, and a Distinguished Rating by Martindale-Hubbell® for having high ethical standards and legal ability.
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” or “irrevocable.”
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 you avoid 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.!
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