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Estate Planning Attorney Miami

Estate planning involves the ultimate disposition of your assets after death. When you think estate planning you probably only think of Wills & Trusts, but estate planning encompasses other areas of the law like advanced directives, special needs planning, and asset protection planning.

As a Miami estate planning attorney, my goal is to make sure that your wishes and intent are followed, whether in incapacity or death. My second goal is to make sure that your assets are protected at all times so it passes to your intended beneficiaries.

Check out our Estate Planning Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about Estate Planning and answers to the questions I get the most regarding estate planning.

Miami Estate Planning Services

Wills and Living Trusts

The cornerstone document in any estate plan is the Florida last will and testament (“Will). The Will allows you to designate who you want to be your beneficiaries upon death, designate guardians for your minor children, and designate a personal representative to represent your estate during the Florida probate process.

Although a Will by itself is useful for the purposes of inheritance, if your goal is to avoid Florida probate court and avoid all the delays of administration and the probate attorney’s expenses, then a Revocable Living Trust (“Trust”) is the way to go.

A Revocable Living Trust allows you to avoid probate court for those assets that are titled under the Trust. The revocable living trust allows you a lot of flexibility, whether you want your assets to be distributed immediately or during a period of time.

There is a cost/benefit analysis when choosing to create a Will or a Trust. A Florida Will is a lot simpler to create than a Trust. Therefore, the cost of creating a Will is a lot lower than creating a Trust. Creating a Will will cost you a lot less right now, but it will cost your estate and/or beneficiaries a lot more during the probate administration.

On the other hand, creating a Trust will be more expensive when you create it, but it will save your estate and your beneficiaries thousand of dollars when administering the Trust when you pass away.

You must ask yourself, do I want to pay more now but put my money in the hands of my beneficiaries, or do I want to pay less now and let my beneficiaries worry about the cost of the probate process?

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Advanced Directives

Advanced Directives are typically those powers you give an agent to act on your behalf. Examples of Advanced Directives include: Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate, Living Will, and HIPAA Authorizations. 

This is one area of estate planning that a lot of people overlook. As a Miami estate planning attorney, I believe that everyone should have Advanced Directives. As you grow older, there will be areas in your life that you will need assistance with. If you have someone you trust, then giving them the power to act on your behalf could be beneficial to your health and finances.

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Special Needs Planning

Special Needs is one of those areas that need a lot of time and attention. A special needs child or adult needs the most protection that they can get. When dealing with a special needs person, it is important to make sure that they do not lose their government benefits.

As a Miami estate planning attorney, I can assist you to set up Special Needs Trust in the event that the unexpected happens, the special needs person does not receive the funds directly and instead passes to the Special Needs Trust. The Special Needs Trust allows the child or adult with special needs to maintain its government benefits.

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Asset Protection Planning

No estate plan is complete unless your Miami estate planning attorney talks to you about asset protection. Asset protection is crucial in this era. 

Luckily, Florida is a debtor friendly State. There are many tools available to us attorneys to be able to use for asset protection purposes. Although no plan is 100% bullet proof, you can make it difficult for someone to attack your assets and obtain a recovery. At a minimum you can protect against other suing you for no reason.

If your Miami estate planning attorney does not discuss asset protection strategies with you, make sure to get a second opinion, it is close to malpractice not to do so.

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