Wills, Trusts, and Estates
Last Will and Testament
Your will is often the cornerstone of your estate plan. If done correctly, it will control what happens to all your assets when you pass. You get to dictate “who gets what.” You can even exclude certain people from your will who might otherwise get a distribution under Florida law.
As part of this process, you will designate a personal representative who will administer your will after you pass. This personal representative will often value the property that needs to be distributed and then take steps to actually distribute the property.
If you do not have a will when you pass away, you have no control over who receives your assets. Instead, the State of Florida has specific laws that set out who will receive your property. Telling someone your wishes without doing anything else will have no effect in Florida.
If you want to control what happens to your assets after you pass, you need a will. Hardball Law can help you develop your will and ensure that it is legally binding.
A trust is a separate legal entity that holds assets. The trustee is assigned the task of carrying out the directions in the trust document. In most cases, trusts simply hold assets, and those assets get distributed to the trust beneficiary based on a set of rules that are provided in the trust document.
There are several types of trusts. You can use a trust as part of your estate plan, but you can also create a trust while you are alive as well. Trusts can help you decrease tax obligations (including income tax and estate tax), and they can protect assets from creditors in some cases.
Examples of trusts include:
- Testamentary trust
- Asset protection trust
- Generation-skipping trust
- Life insurance trust
- Irrevocable trust
- Revocable trust
- Living trust
Trusts are very flexible, and they can be used as part of your estate plan to accomplish a wide variety of goals. Hardball Law can help you develop your trust to work for whatever purpose you have in mind.
Estates and Estate Planning
Estate planning is a method to create a legacy for your loved ones long after you are gone. It involves careful thought and consideration about who you want to take certain assets or how you want funds distributed, sometimes long after you pass.
Creating an estate plan might involve the following documents:
- Last will and testament
- Revocable trusts and testamentary (irrevocable) trusts
- Powers of attorney
- Healthcare surrogate
- Living will
- Medicaid planning
- Prenuptial agreements
It is never too early or too late to plan for the future. Creating an estate plan long before you need it will not only put your mind at ease, but it will also help your loved ones plan for the future as well.
Living Wills and Powers of Attorney
Many people make the mistake of assuming that estate planning really only affects your loved ones after you passed. However, good estate planning will also consider what will happen to your assets and debts if you suddenly become incapacitated and can no longer handle your own affairs.
A living will and powers of attorney, for example, will address these situations. These documents are often specifically designed to only take effect if you become incapacitated.
In the event of incapacitation, the person that you designate will step in to make decisions about your healthcare, financial situations, and other aspects of your life, as you provide. Each document can hav slightly different permissions and authority. You also get to choose the person that you believe is the most capable of making these decisions on your behalf.
Get Help with Your Estate Planning with Hardball Law
Estate planning does not have to be complicated and daunting. Our team makes it easy to accomplish your estate planning goals. Everyone’s financial and personal situation is different, so using the “standard forms” does not make sense for many people.
Get personalized, caring service from the Hardball Law team. Call today for more information or to set up an appointment.