Delray Beach Wills, Trusts, Probate Lawyers
You worked hard to build a great life for yourself and your family. Protect what you have built with an estate plan. A good estate plan ensures that your assets go where you want them to go and preserves your assets for your family, by taking advantage of the rules that help you transmit a large portion of your estate free of the “death tax.”
At Demand the Limits, we realize that estate planning can feel a little weird to people. Even if you know where you want your money to go when you die, something about sitting down to write a will and make an estate plan can make death seem a little bit closer. As a result, many of us put if off. This is even true in an area like South Florida, where many people are retirees, and absolutely need a good estate plan. We understand that estate planning can be an emotional process, and we are here to help you by crafting a plan that focuses on the legacy you want to leave your family.
As Delray Beach will, trusts, and probate attorneys, the lawyers at Demand the Limits can help you with any of estate-related legal issues. However, many people are confused about the concept of an estate. The term estate refers to everything you own, including real and personal property. Therefore, estate planning refers to making a plan to transfer those assets to other people, usually upon your death, though estate plans may include some transfers during a beneficiary’s lifetime.
Wills, trusts, and probate attorneys actually handle a variety of different issues: estate planning, estate tax issues, guardianship, living wills, living trusts, drafting wills, executors and personal representative duties, probate, and will disputes. Our experience handling will disputes and our knowledge of South Florida judges in the Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach counties, helps us know how to design an estate plan that meets your goals, while still meeting the standards of our local probate professionals.
Many of our clients are interested in finding out about Florida Living Trusts. The Florida probate system can be difficult, and, many of your heirs may be located outside of the state. A living trust can help you avoid probate, but its benefits go beyond that. You can pick someone to handle your business affairs in the event that you become incapacitated, which virtually eliminates the risk of having a guardian appointed to oversee your estate. Likewise, unlike a will, the trust is not filed with the Probate Court, which can help maintain privacy for your families. A living trust allows you to control distributions, even once you have passed, by specifying that trust money can be used for some purposes but not others, or that beneficiaries can only receive disbursements after meeting certain requirements.
The Living Trust can also offer some tax advantages. In fact, one of the major components of estate planning for the wealthy, is protecting the estate from taxes. Currently, the federal estate tax exclusion is $11.2 million per person. While this seems like a very large amount, it is not an unusually large estate for people in the South Florida area. Moreover, any amount above the exclusion rate is subject to a very substantial tax. At Demand the Limits, our estate planning specialists can help you explore a variety of ways to protect your estate from inheritance taxes.
Another concern that many people have when creating an estate plan is reducing the risk of the will being contested after they die. This is a very realistic concern. In an ideal world, your relationships with all of your potential beneficiaries would be the same, they would all be equally responsible, and you could leave your assets to them equally without fear that they would squander them. However, in the real world, you may have needed to help one child more than other children during their lifetime, and want to even things out with your estate planning, you may have a child or grandchild with special needs, one or more of your children may have problems with substance abuse or other issues that make you concerned that a windfall inheritance would actually create more problems. Any of those issues are valid reasons to leave unequal inheritances to heirs, but they can create opportunities for strife after your death. At Demand the Limits, we can help you craft an estate plan that lets you take individual differences into account, while also minimizing the risk of a successful challenge.
While most people who use estate attorneys in South Florida are those planning their own estates, there are also times when beneficiaries, personal representatives, and executors may need the services of a wills, trusts, and probate attorney. Probate is a complicated process, and it can be extremely helpful to have a professional guide you through that process. At Demand the Limits, we can help you: file the will with the Florida probate court; open and close banking and other financial accounts; transfer assets from the deceased’s name to the estate; pay taxes; pay debts; and locate beneficiaries.
You may also be a family member with concerns about a loved one. Hopefully, your loved one has taken steps to protect himself or herself in the case of incapacitation. However, many people fail to take those steps, and you may be in the position of having to seek guardianship over an adult who has become incapacitated and can no longer handle his or her financial or business affairs. This can be a heart-wrenching process, and it has the potential of having some negative repercussions in a family. If you are in this position, the lawyers at Demand the Limits can not only help you with guardianship proceedings, but also with exploring other options that may allow you to help your loved one without taking that type of drastic action.
Finally, we help families in conflict after the death of a loved one. The death of a loved one, especially a parent, has the ability to bring out the absolute worst in survivors. Somehow, a lifetime’s worth of petty jealousies and rivalries can come to the surface. At Demand the Limits, we pride ourselves on being honest with potential clients. If you come to us with the goal of challenging a will, we help you determine whether you have a valid claim, but also counsel you about the potential consequences, legal and otherwise, of a probate dispute. We understand that feelings run high after a death, so we bring a calm and collected attitude to any potential disputes.
At Demand the Limits, we understand that probate issues can be daunting. Whether you are planning your estate, taking on duties as an executor or personal representative, or in the unfortunate position of challenging a will or estate plan, we are here to help you. We not only know Florida laws, but also Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach County probate professionals, so that we can help you craft an estate plan that withstands challenges, or advise you about whether you can successfully challenge a will or other document. Call us to schedule a consultation with our wills, trusts, and probate lawyers in Delray Beach, Florida.