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Many people mistakenly believe that having a will is enough to protect their loved ones’ future once they pass away. However, in Florida, the legal system is more complex, and simply having a will may not fully alleviate your family’s stress or fulfill your intended wishes. It is crucial to understand that a will has its limitations. To ensure the utmost protection of your hard-earned assets and the well-being of those dear to you, it is advisable to consider implementing both a will and a trust jointly. Your experienced St. Pete wills and trusts attorney can help you establish a comprehensive estate plan that will preserve your legacy. Call today to schedule a free consultation and learn more! 

What Does A Will Provide?

A will, also known as a last will and testament, is a legal instrument that outlines the distribution of your assets after you pass away. It specifies who will inherit your possessions. In addition to this type of will, there are other variations, like living wills, which provide instructions for medical care in case of incapacitation, and joint wills, which express the desires of married couples. However, it’s important to note that last wills and testaments, as well as joint wills, only take effect upon death and must undergo probate proceedings in Florida courts before their provisions can be executed. Since probate can be both time-consuming and costly, it is advisable to have additional estate planning documents in place, such as trusts.

What Is a Trust?

A trust, in essence, is a legal agreement involving three parties that safeguards your assets. As the grantor, you establish the trust and appoint someone as the trustee to oversee these assets for the benefit of another individual known as the beneficiary. It is possible for you to fulfill all three roles; however, it is important to have an alternate trustee in case of your incapacitation or demise. Similarly, backup beneficiaries should also be designated for precautionary measures.

Once created, a trust becomes effective immediately and provides immediate security for your wealth. There are various types of trusts, such as: 

  • Revocable Trusts
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Medicaid Planning Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts 
  • And others.

A trust can bypass probate, which means that your family can receive the contents according to the terms you set following your death without any hassle or delay. Trusts can minimize taxes and have many other benefits. 

When Should You Create A Trust Or Make A Will?

Creating a will and trust is never a bad idea, regardless of whether you have children, consider yourself financially secure, enjoy good health, or are nearing retirement. It is crucial for every property owner to possess both a will and a trust. While contemplating mortality can be intimidating and anxiety-inducing, many individuals postpone addressing it as long as possible or avoid it altogether. By taking action, you gain greater control over your fate and the future well-being of those you care about.

The uncertainty of what lies ahead in our upcoming days, weeks, or months makes it essential to get affairs in order right away. It is often overlooked that neglecting to plan ahead may leave family members facing challenging legal and financial circumstances without clear instructions regarding their assets’ distribution.

In the absence of a will, Florida intestate laws dictate how your possessions will be distributed rather than adhering to your personal preferences and desires. Similarly, if you pass away without establishing a trust, your estate becomes subject to probate court proceedings. The probate process can add unnecessary strain to your family during an already difficult period of grieving.

Why You Need To Work With Our St. Pete Wills And Trusts Lawyer

Working with our St. Pete wills and trusts attorney is crucial. To minimize lawyer expenses, many people produce their own legal papers online, also known as DIY. This is not recommended, as many online documents are not state specific and may not be legally compliant, leaving your estate vulnerable to litigation.

Wills and trusts are complicated and have serious repercussions. To be legitimate, they must follow legal standards. Any missteps throughout the procedure might render your will and trust ineffective, treating your assets as if none were made.

The right tools and time can save you a lot of time if you hire an experienced attorney. Osenton Law lead attorney, Reggie Osenton, has more than thirty years of experience. He is able to explain your options to you and guide you through each step. Protect your family and valuables today by contacting us for a free consultation!

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