Estate Planning Essentials: How a Trust Attorney Can Help You Protect Your Family
Florida Estate Planning Lawyers to Guide You
Reasonably, we do not like to consider our own mortality nor that of our loved ones. This common feeling is perhaps one of the greatest barriers to developing an effective estate plan.
However, creating a clear, comprehensive estate plan is vital to protect your family’s future and your own legacy. Walser Law Firm guides you through each phase of the estate planning process, from inventorying your assets and gathering important documents to prepsaring your will and trusts. We also give you tips to make the probate process as stress-free as possible for your loved ones at a time when they are focused on remembering and honoring your life.
Creating an Effective Estate Plan
Our attorneys tailor your estate plan to fit your personal family and financial situation and to meet your individual goals. We recognize that your family’s well-being is an integral object of your plan and we consider the unique aspects of their lives that could affect their inheritance. Depending on you and your loved one’s circumstances, we may recommend these estate planning instruments:
- Last will and testament: Even if you are young and healthy, you should draft your last will and testament. Your will gives you the platform to clearly express your wishes and saves your family the distressing, and sometimes divisive, position of guessing what you wanted
- Trusts: Trusts are a valuable estate planning tool for properly managing your assets after you die. You may, for instance, want to protect your adult child’s inheritance from his or her creditors, or you may recognize that your child lacks the financial wherewithal to successfully manage a large sum of money. We also often suggest a trust as a means of leaving property and funds to minor children.
Maintaining Adequate Life Insurance
Life insurance can provide necessary financial means for family members who depend upon you for support. Sadly, we have seen families lose this crucial source of income because the deceased had inadvertently missed a premium payment or failed to secure adequate coverage. We advise you to review your life insurance policies to determine a level of coverage and take steps to ensure premiums are paid in a timely manner.
Organizing Your Documents and Informing Your Heirs
You likely know where you keep important financial documents. If you die before sharing that knowledge with anyone, the information dies with you. Your family may then be tasked with locating scattered documents and they run the risk of never finding the necessary information they need. Take the time to gather such important documents as:
- Your last will and testament
- Trust instruments
- Tax returns
- Bank and securities accounts
- Pension and 401(k) statements
- Mortgage and current statements
- Social Security statements
- Life insurance policies
You may consider putting some of these documents in a safe deposit box or uploading data on a secure site. Then tell your loved ones where they can locate these documents after your death.
Update Your Documents Periodically and After Major Events
The beneficiaries you name on your retirement accounts and insurance policies supersede provisions of your will if the documents do not match. Birth, death, marriage, divorce or a major change in your relationship can alter your intended beneficiaries. You should review your will, trusts, insurance policies and retirement accounts after any major changes within your family and update your beneficiaries and terms of your will accordingly. Also, we suggest you periodically review your estate planning documents to be sure they still reflect your intentions.
Protect Your Family With An Estate Planning Attorney in Boca Raton
Walser Law Firm guides you through the steps of effective estate planning. Contact our Boca Raton main office or our Palm Beach Gardens office by calling 561.750.1040 or by email.
Other Recommendations Related to Estate Planning
Making all of these decisions during what may be the most difficult time in a person’s life can be extremely difficult.
When you pre-plan your funeral you:
- Relieve your loved ones of the emotional burden at a very difficult time in their life
- Are ensured that your wishes will be carried out the way you want
- Have everything pre-paid so that your family is also relieved in any financial burden