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Losing a loved one is undeniably heartbreaking, and it becomes even more challenging for their family when they are left to handle the financial and legal aspects alone. This additional burden only compounds the already overwhelming sorrow. To avoid such circumstances, it is vital to establish a comprehensive estate plan that ensures that every aspect is taken into account. By doing so, you can provide reassurance both for yourself and your loved ones by expressing clear intentions regarding asset distribution and the welfare of your family in unexpected circumstances.
At Osenton Law, P.A., we understand the significance of preparing in advance. Since no one knows what lies ahead, regardless of age or health, it is crucial to begin organizing your affairs as early as possible. Our experienced Clearwater estate planning lawyer stands ready to assist you in creating a personalized estate plan tailored specifically to meet your needs. Take that first step towards securing a brighter future for yourself and those dear to you by arranging a complimentary consultation with us today!
Why You Should Create An Estate Plan
Creating an estate plan allows you to have control over the fate of your finances and assets both during your lifetime and after your passing. With an estate plan, you have the power to determine who will inherit what, how your medical needs will be addressed in case of incapacity, and who can lay claim to your estate.
In the absence of an estate plan, Florida takes charge of distributing your belongings without considering your preferences or those of your family. The state’s intestate laws dictate that your possessions will be passed on to the closest living relative, which may not align with what you had in mind. If you only have a will, it is highly likely that your estate will undergo probate, a lengthy, costly, and arduous legal process used to validate and execute the terms outlined in the will. However, by implementing trust-based strategies within your estate plan, you can effectively bypass probate altogether!
One significant advantage of having an estate plan is that it provides closure for your family members. They won’t be left guessing about your wishes or engaging in disputes; instead, they’ll know exactly what you desire.
While an estate plan primarily offers benefits upon death, it can also prove advantageous during one’s lifetime. For example, if there comes a time when you need to enter a nursing facility later in life, having a trust-based estate plan can safeguard your assets from Medicaid requirements. This protective measure has the potential to save you tens of thousands of dollars!
Our knowledgeable Clearwater estate planning lawyer, Reggie Osenton, is equipped to thoroughly examine and evaluate each case on its merits. By doing so, he strives to help you discover precisely how implementing an estate plan can benefit your families’ well-being.
The Essentials Of An Effective Estate Plan
Most people think that a last will and testament alone is sufficient, but wills still need to go through probate, and they don’t account for everything (such as medical care) because they only go into effect when you die. A complete estate plan should, in most cases, have the following:
- A trust -A trust is a legal entity to which you can transfer your assets; this provides greater security for the assets, which are managed by a trustee. There are several types of trusts available, including revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts.
- A medical power of attorney – a medical power of attorney allows someone you trust to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
- A durable (financial) power of attorney – a financial power of attorney gives someone you trust the ability to make decisions about your assets on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
- An advance care directive – This is a document that can work in conjunction with a medical power of attorney and specifies what type of medical treatment you would like to receive (or not receive) should you become incapacitated.
- Beneficiary designations – You can designate who will inherit your bank accounts, life insurance policy, and other account types; these designations should match your will, as they will override any designations made in a will.
- Guardianship designations (for minor children) – If you have minor children, you can specify who should care for them and make decisions for them.
- A complete list of your assets – (for clarity and inventory/accounting purposes)
Why Choose Osenton Law For Your Estate Planning Needs?
Each person is unique, which means that their estate plan should be customized to suit their specific needs. Although using online forms may appear convenient for creating a plan, attempting the process yourself can consume more time and effort. Furthermore, there’s a risk that the information may be inaccurate or not in accordance with Florida’s most up-to-date legal standards.
At Osenton Law, our lead Clearwater estate planning lawyer, Reggie Osenton, provides over three decades of extensive knowledge of Florida estate law. He will take the necessary time to thoroughly explain all your options so that your documents are tailored to meet your individual requirements. With his assistance, you and your family can experience peace of mind, knowing that your future is well-protected. Make the first move toward safeguarding and protecting your legacy by giving Reggie Osenton a call to arrange a free consultation and discover firsthand how he can help you navigate the complex landscape of estate planning.
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Osenton Law, P.A.
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