The benefits of setting up an Estate Plan with a qualified attorney are numerous, and oftentimes very cost effective.
An estate plan is like a thread, stringing together every aspect of a client’s life. A client may own a business, a home, income producing property, or have potential creditors. Therefore, an estate planner must be familiar with several areas of the law to create an effective estate plan.
Probate, real estate, tax, bankruptcy and business law are common areas of law that must be addressed. Creating an estate plan can be complicated. The planner must balance all these areas of the law, the client’s goals for disposition of their property, and minimizing costs and taxes to the estate. Plus, all this must be accomplished in light of our ever changing tax laws.
Even if your estate plan does not need to address complicated tax or business matters, you should still consult with an estate planning attorney to plan for your particular needs. You may want to provide a gift for a special person, like a domestic partner, sibling or friend. That person may not be entitled to anything from your estate under the law. With an estate plan, you can provide for that special person. It is particularly important for unmarried couples to have an estate plan because the laws that provide support for a spouse do not apply to a significant other.
If you have minor children, you probably want to choose who will take care of them if something should happen to you and your spouse. Without a proper designation, the courts will make this decision for you. By designating a guardian for your children ahead of time you reduce unnecessary tension and potential litigation between family members who all think they are in the best position to care for your children. Parents should also designate an appropriate person to be trustee of property they leave to their minor children, such as life insurance proceeds.
It is a good practice to periodically review your estate plan. There are many reasons to update your estate plan; for example, if you have been divorced or legally separated, if you provide for a person who has since died, or there has been some other significant change in your life.
Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC is pleased to welcome Eve Travis to the firm. Ms. Travis’ practice focuses on estate planning, probate and real estate law. Ms. Travis graduated with honors from the University of Florida-College of Law where she focused her studies on estate planning and taxation. You can call our office to set up a consultation to personally discuss with Mrs. Travis the benefits of setting up an Estate Plan based on the particulars of your situation. Prior to joining Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC, Ms. Travis worked for Avery, Whigham & Winesett, P.A. in Fort Myers, Florida. Arcadier, Biggie & Wood, PLLC is a six attorney full service law firm in Melbourne, Florida servicing the legal needs of the community in the areas of Immigration, Family, Business, Employment, Bankruptcy, Foreclosure Defense, Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury, Wills, Trusts, Probate and Real Estate.