Orlando Estate Planning Lawyer Assists with Wills & Trusts
Choosing an Effective Estate Planning Strategy
At Jackson Law, we have 30 years of combined experience in the fields of estate planning and
probate law. When you come to us for help, our Orlando estate planning lawyers will be ready to conduct a comprehensive review of your personal situation, both in terms of your finances and your family relationships, to determine what course of action is most suitable for your estate planning. Based on your decision, we can proceed with the implementation of an estate planning strategy that can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you have provided for your loved ones and shielded them against the possibility of a stressful and drawn-out legal process in the wake of your passing.
Wills vs. Trusts in Orlando Estate Planning
Depending on your unique circumstances, your interests may best be served by either a will or a trust. No two cases are identical, and it is impossible to recommend one or the other without first thoroughly evaluating your situation. Certain general rules, however, do apply. Typically, a person with a relatively simple estate, with few heirs and with a relatively small amount of assets, may find that a last will and testament is adequate to meet his or her needs. A trust, on the other hand, tends to be more appropriate for wealthier individuals, those with minor or disabled beneficiaries, or those who have many family members who may have a claim against the estate.
Advantages of a Revocable Trust
Trusts have many strengths that distinguish them from wills, a major one being that they make it possible to avoid probate. Because the assets that you use to fund the trust are no longer part of your estate, they will not be subject to probate proceedings at the time of your passing. Instead, they will pass directly to the beneficiaries of the trust according to your specifications and the schedule that you set. Similarly, a trust is an effective way of avoiding or minimizing estate taxes. Should you choose a revocable trust, as opposed to an irrevocable trust, you will retain the option to modify the terms of the trust, such as by withdrawing assets, changing or adding beneficiaries, naming a new trustee or even dissolving the trust.
Reasons to Choose a Will
One of the primary advantages of drafting a will instead of establishing a trust has to do with the costs. Wills are typically far less complex than trusts and therefore require less work to draft the documents and take the necessary steps to create. If you are of relatively modest means and are not concerned about the possibility of incurring the estate tax, you may not need a trust. The same is true if it is not a priority for you to preserve the privacy of your estate, in light of the fact that probate is a matter of public record. When we meet for your initial consultation, we will take the time to answer your questions and help you make an informed decision whether to choose a will or a trust.
Orlando Pet Trusts
You care deeply about your pets and want to make sure that they are in good hands and are well provided for when you pass away or become incapacitated. How can you be certain that a friend or family member will be willing to accept the responsibility when the time comes? Even if someone is willing to do so, will they have the resources necessary to care for your pets, and will they know how to provide the same standard of care to which the animals have become accustomed? Fortunately, Florida law has for a decade now recognized the right of a pet owner to establish a pet trust, which is fundamentally the same as any other type of trust.
In a pet trust, you can name the person who will take your pets in when you can no longer care for them, as well as specifying the nature of their care, their routines and the name of their veterinarian. You can additionally leave money to provide for your pets' needs in terms of food, shelter and other supplies, as well as designating a party who will receive any funds that are left over when the pets pass away. We can assist you with finding answers to questions such as how much money you need to leave, as well as drafting the necessary documents and taking steps to ensure that the pet trust will operate as required when the time comes. Contact us now to get started.