The end of someone’s life is not something that anybody wants to think about. However, a death can create many complicated legal questions concerning the division of property, financial matters, and guardianship. Estate planning can give you some control over what happens when you die or become incapacitated and cannot make your own decisions. A combination of legally binding documents, including wills, trusts, and business succession plans, can provide certainty over how courts must handle your estate.
A Florida estate planning lawyer in Coral Gables can help you make sure that your wishes become reality. At The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm, we can help you draft wills, set up guardianship plans, prepare for probate, and even make living wills that lay out what to do in the event you become incapacitated.
Common Issues in Estate Planning
The law states that in most situations, adults have full control over how to spend their money, divide their assets, and live their lives. With rare exceptions for cases involving guardianships, people also have the ability to make these decisions for after they die. A typical estate might include:
- Property holdings in real estate;
- Cash in bank accounts;
- Pension funds;
- Physical property, including family heirlooms.
Effective estate planning can put to rest any concerns about what will happen after someone is no longer able to manage their own affairs.
An estate plan can also provide care for those with disabilities, minor children, and charitable causes. If a person creates a trust for their grandchild’s college education, a third-party must hold that money for that specific purpose. The trustee of a trust may only use that money for that child’s education. A Coral Gables estate planning attorney could provide more information about common issues that may arise in estate planning.
The Purposes and Legal Effects of Estate Planning
If we look at the typical assets of an individual, they may own a home, a car, and potentially even a business. Without any other plan in place, those assets would disperse evenly to that person’s heirs upon their death.
However, they can divide their assets in a more specific way if they create an estate plan. For example, if a person has a last will and testament, it may state that a testator intends for their entire estate to pass to a specific person. Additionally, a trust could request that the proceeds from the sale of the decedent’s home are to be used to fund a scholarship.
If done properly, these documents will have the force of law, and the Probate Court must ensure that the executors of estates take full responsibility to see that these wishes are enforced.
Because estate plans might not provide for every heir, it is common for there to be legal disputes over what they contain. For instance, Florida Statute § 732.502 states that a valid last will and testament must contain the signatures of two individuals who witness the testator’s signature. As a result, a person who did not receive any inheritance might make a legal challenge in court. A Florida estate planning lawyer based out of Coral Gables can provide more information concerning the purpose of these plans and take legal action when necessary to protect someone’s rights.
Reach Out to a Florida Estate Planning Attorney in Coral Gables Today
Retaining control over what happens to your assets after your death or incapacitation is a critical part of most peoples’ plans for their families. While people who die without any sort of estate plan will have their assets go to their default heirs, this is not the wish for many individuals. You may desire that your entire estate pass to another child or even to a person who would not normally inherit under state laws. A proper estate plan can make these goals a reality.
A Florida estate planning lawyer in Coral Gables can help you make the proper arrangements for the future, including plans for guardianship, wills, and probate. Contact a Florida estate planning lawyer in Coral Gables today to learn more during a free consultation.