Estate Planning Overview
Estate planning refers to the plan and documents that will be instrumental in dictating your personal care, the handling of your assets and who will care for your minor children in the event of your incapacity and/or death.
Estate planning is for everyone. Whether you need a simple last will and testament or complex estate tax avoidance strategies, everyone deserves an estate planning attorney who will counsel them with sound, up-to-date estate planning advice and services so that goals can be met in the most effective and efficient way.
When might I need Estate Planning Services?
- Parents with Minor Children: Who would have guardianship/custody of your children in the event of your death or incapacity?
- New Florida Residents: Are your estate planning documents from another state valid? Are you taking advantage of Florida’s favorable estate planning laws?
- Florida Real Estate Owners (Snowbirds): Are you subject to Florida’s probate laws? Should you become a Florida Resident to avail yourself of the financial advantages of Florida Residency?
- Non-U.S. Citizens: Do you have U.S. compliant documents in the case of incapacity? As a property owner, are you subject to Florida probate and other laws? Are your world-wide assets above the U.S. estate tax threshold?
- Parents With Children From a Previous Marriage: Will you be able to preserve your assets for your children while providing for your current spouse?
- Business Owners: How can you most effectively pass your business to your loved ones? What if they want to sell? How do you ensure that you have a proper succession plan in place?
- Widows and Widowers: Have your estate planning needs changed since the passing of your spouse? Do you have an effective plan for passing your assets to your family according to your wishes?
- Assets Over $5 Million: How can you use effective estate planning techniques and gifting to avoid estate taxes on estates over $5.43 million while still ensuring your lifestyle will be protected for as long as you live?
- Change of Life Circumstances: Have you had a birth, death, marriage, divorce, relocation, inheritance, etc. in your family that require you to re-look at your estate plan in order to make sure your plan reflects those life changes?
- Asset Protection Needs: How can you take full advantage of Florida’s generous homestead laws? How can you maximize privacy and anonymity? How can you discourage frivolous lawsuits?
- Charitable Contributions: How do you make sure that charities close to your heart will benefit from your assets?
- Engaged and/or Newlywed Couples: As an engaged couple, should you consider a pre-nuptial agreement in order to preserve assets and avoid disputes? As a newlywed couple, do you have an effective estate plan in case of incapacity or death that considers your spouse?
- Lesbian and Gay Couples: Given evolving laws, do you have an effective estate plan to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes?
- Unmarried Couples: Given that Florida’s special spousal provisions do not apply to unmarried couples, do you have an estate plan that effectively provides for your partner?
- Pet Owners: What will happen to your pets if you are not able to take care of them? Who will pay for your pet’s expenses? Will your pets be separated?
- Terminal Illness: What steps should be taken upon finding out that death is imminent? How quickly can estate planning document be executed in such a situation?
Contact Steiner Law Offices today for help with estate planning – Get started now
Basic Estate Planning Documents
Everyone should have basic estate planning documents:
- Last Will and Testament
- Health Care Surrogate
- Living Will
- Declaration of Pre-Need Guardian
- Childcare Authorization
- Hospital Visitation
- Instructions to Loved Ones
Additional Estate Planning Techniques
Certain situations require additional techniques:
- Revocable Trust
- Irrevocable Trust
- Special Needs Trust
- Land Trust
- Life Insurance Trust
- Asset Protection Techniques
- Estate Tax Avoidance
- Charitable Trusts
- Pet Care Trusts
Alternative Estate Planning Options
Alternatives to traditional estate planning can also be effective when appropriate:
- Lady Bird Deeds
- Payable on Death Accounts
- Retirement Account Beneficiary Designations
- Gifting Plans
Contact Steiner Law Offices today for help with Estate Planning – Get started now
Contact us for personal and professional help with Estate Planning. We offer this to clients in Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Bradenton and Venice, Florida, including Sarasota County and Manatee County.