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ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY MIAMI

Estate planning involves the ultimate disposition of your assets after death. A good Miami estate planning attorney will focus on all areas of estate planning, including but not limited to:

  • Asset Protection planning;
  • Estate tax planning;
  • Incapacity planning;
  • Business Succession; and
  • Special Needs.

ESTATE PLANNING PURPOSE

The purpose of estate planning is to prepare for the unexpected, whether that is to protect yourself from creditors, incapacity or death. It is impossible to predict when you will need your estate plan, but that fact of the matter is that it is better to have one than not to have one.

Estate planning is particularly important when you have minor children. You as a parent never want the State of Florida choosing who will raise your children should you pass away. In addition, many parents are not aware that if children inherit over $15,000 then a Guardianship will have to be opened in the children’s behalf.

As a Miami estate planning attorney I can help you designate alternative Guardians should the unfortunate happens. Have the individuals selected by you to raise your children and provide the best care possible.

As you grow older and capacity diminishes estate planning also plays a major role. I can’t stress enough how important it is to designate agents you trust early on to make decisions on your behalf. Guardianship is a very expensive court monitored process and many people think that estate planning is only about death, but incapacity plays a major part to what we Miami estate plannings attorneys plan for. 

Finally, the purpose of estate planning is to create a plan that takes care of your family and your loved ones. Should you not create an estate plan then the State of Florida will select for you who will inherit everything you worked so hard for.

ESTATE PLANNING OBJECTIVES

AVOID FLORIDA PROBATE COURT

One of the primary objectives of Miami estate planning attorneys is to avoid Probate court. Probate administration is an expensive process. The typical probate attorney fee for probate administration is either a 3% fee on the value of the assets or an hourly fee based on the experience of the probate attorney.

If you do the math, assuming that you have an estate worth $300,000, if the probate attorney charges you 3% that equals about $9,000 plus any applicable court costs. Even if the probate attorney charges you hourly, that will still end up being anywhere between $4000 to 6,000 depending on the work involved.

When you compare this to the cost of a Miami estate planning attorney to create an estate plan, the cost difference can be very significant. Estate plans can range anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 based on the estate planning attorney’s experience. Most estate planning attorneys also give a discount for married couples.

Not only can probate administration be expensive, but it also can be time consuming. A typically formal administration can take anywhere between 6 months to 2 years. During this time the assets of the estate will be frozen and your heirs will have limited access to that money. This will put a strain on the family and leads me to my next reason.

Although costs  and time are a major factor for avoiding Florida probate, personally one of the biggest factors for avoiding probate and creating an estate plan is to protect the family unity. Time and time again I see siblings and family members fight for inheritances, specially when clear instructions are not clearly laid out. 

Finally Florida probate is a public process. Anyone can go to the clerk of court in their particular county and request for the court records. In Miami-Dade the Clerk of the Probate Court is located in Downtown and the staff is very friendly and helpful.

ESTATE PLANNING DOCUMENTS

I like to tailor your estate plan based on your goals and objectives. Some of the most commonly used estate planning documents that we estate planning attorneys use include: (list is not exhaustive):

  • Revocable Living Trust;
  • Florida Pour-Over Will;
  • Last Will and Testament;
  • Durable Power of Attorney;
  • Health Care Surrogate & Living Wills;
  • Pre-Need Guardian Appointment;
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (“ILIT”)
  • Marital Agreements; and
  • Much More …

I offer free consultations to analyze which estate plannings documents are right for you. I offer strategic sessions and consultations to analyze your situation and your exposure.

ASSET PROTECTION

With the recent change in the tax law increasing the unified credit to 11.2 million dollars for individuals, asset protection planning has become a cornerstone for Miami estate planning lawyers. With careful planning, I can help you safeguard your assets against the attack of creditors. Asset protection strategies include:

  • Florida Homestead Protection;
  • Life Insurance & Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts;
  • Spendthrift Provisions;
  • Tenancy by the Entireties;
  • Retirement Accounts; and
  • Florida’s Business Entities.