Estate Planning in the Sunshine State
Although Florida is known to be one of the top retirement destinations in the United States, it is not just retirees who need to plan for the future. It’s time to start planning your estate if you
- are married,
- have children, or
- own significant assets.
Estate planning is done to protect your assets in the event you become incapacitated or die. In the event your estate is not planned prior to death, your assets are left to be divided according to state law, not according to your wishes. Waiting too long can cause hardship for your family and loved ones.
If you fit into one or more of the categories above, and have not begun planning for your estate, you should contact an experienced estate planning attorney to begin the process.
Don’t postpone planning until it’s too late. Call Jennifer Labbe, PA, a skilled wills and probate lawyer serving the Wellington, Florida area, at (561) 815-8889. Call today for your free, strategic consultation.
Estate Planning: What Do I Need?
Below is a list of the key estate planning documents filed in Florida:
- Will—Gives directives for distributing your property after you pass away, as well as who should oversee your estate.
- Durable Power of Attorney—Assigns a trusted person to act as your agent in the event you become incapacitated or die. This person will make decisions regarding you and your estate, as well as legally sign documents on your behalf.
- Living Will—Serves as directive to your attending physician(s) for your wishes regarding end-of-life medical care.
- Designation of Health Care Surrogate—Indicates a reliable person who will ensure your health care wishes are respected.
Working with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney to draft and file these documents will ensure they are valid, leaving nothing to chance once you’re gone.
Will My Estate Go into Probate if I Have a Will?
Apart from very small estates, a.k.a. “disposition without administration”, and those where the executor of the estate is the sole beneficiary, the estate will be handled in probate court. In most cases, a probate services lawyer will be needed, as Florida law requires the assistance of an attorney to navigate the intricate estate law system.
After your passing, the executor of the estate, or an interested party, will request to be appointed as personal representative of your estate, and your beneficiaries will be given notice of the proceedings.
Your will should then be filed with the court and must be proven valid. In Florida, a will is considered self-proving if the witnesses to the signing of the will also signed corroborating documentation in front of a notary public; otherwise, the witnesses of the signing must give statements, under oath, to the validate the will.
A skilled probate and trust attorney should guide your executor through the process. Settling your estate will likely take 5 to 12 months.
In Need of an Experienced Estate and Probate Attorney?
Take the next step… schedule a strategic consultation to gain more information on estate planning and probate in Florida. Get the legal answers you are seeking by calling Jennifer Labbe, PA, at (561) 815-8889 today.
Planning your estate is one of the most beneficial steps you can take to protect your assets and make it easier for your loved ones in the event of a tragedy. While there is never a time too early to begin planning, there is a point where it may be too late. To avoid the lengthy and complicated probate process, schedule a consultation with Jennifer Labbe, PA, at your earliest convenience to discuss your options and start planning for the inevitable today!
Call Me Now For A Strategic Consultation