Estate Planning By Steven M. Fishman
Do I Need Estate Planning
Many people avoid estate planning because they do not think they have an estate. Believe it or not, nearly everyone has an estate. Your estate is made up of all you own including your car, home, any other real estate, investments, furniture, life insurance, personal possessions, checking and savings accounts. No matter the size of your estate, planning for how your estate will be handled with an experienced estate planning attorney will make sure your wishes are carried out exactly the way you wanted.
What is Estate Planning
The clear-cut definition of estate planning is having a plan in place that manages your assets after you pass away. However, a good estate plan should also address other factors including:
- Advanced Care Directives for your care if you become disabled or for situations which you cannot make decisions for yourself
- Appointing a guardian and an inheritance manager for any minor children
- Make sure to provide for special needs family member without disrupting their government benefits.
- Make guidelines for loved ones that you feel might be irresponsible with money
- Protection for family members that need it from creditors or divorce
- Life Insurance to provide for your family
- Disability insurance to replace your income due to illness or injury
- Long-term care insurance to help with your care if you have an extended illness or injury
- Plan for the transfer of your business if you become disabled, retire, or in case of death.
With the help of an estate planning attorney, you will be able to have control of how your estate is handled. If you do not have a plan in place, the state can decide how your assets are distributed. This means a court system could decide how your estate is managed and your wishes or family will have no control over the process.
Estate Planning Begins with Wills and Trusts
A will is a set of instructions on how your estate is distributed but does not avoid probate or reflect your values to your family and future generations. Unlike a will, a living trust does not die with you but your assets remain in the trust and are managed by a trustee you selected, usually a trusted family member. A living trust can protect the assets from irresponsible spending, creditors, and spouses of the beneficiaries. It can also ensure a special needs loves one is provided for after you are gone. A living trust is more expensive than a will at the onset but can save considerable cost and avert the courts involvement in the long run which many find worth the initial cost. As an experienced probate attorney, Steven M. Fishman can help you decide whether a will or living trust is best for your situation and wishes.
Call Us Today for a Free No-Obligation Consultation about Trusts, Wills and Probate
Whether you are in need of an estate planning attorney or a probate lawyer, Steven M. Fishman is experienced and knowledgeable of Florida estate law. With 25 years’ experience helping families with estate planning and probate needs, you can feel confident that he will guide your through this complicated process. Our office is conveniently located in the Countryside Area at McMullen-Booth and Enterprise in Clearwater and is just minutes away from Largo, Palm Harbor, Safety Harbor and Oldsmar. Call (727) 724-9044 today for your free estate planning or probate advice with a no-obligation office consultation for answers to your questions or concerns.
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