Ensuring that you have an estate plan in place to protect you, your family, and your property is important. A wills, trusts & probate attorney in Cocoa from our law firm can help you create the estate plan that is right for you.
We also can assist you when you lose a loved one or close family member. We can introduce you to the probate process, otherwise known as the process of distributing property to heirs and creditors as directed by a will or state law. Our goal is to guide you through every step of the probate court process and make the journey as smooth and efficient as possible for you and your family during such a challenging time.
How Our Wills, Trusts & Probate Attorney in Cocoa Can Help
From drafting legal documents to creating your personalized estate plan to helping you administer the estate of a loved one, our lawyers can provide you with the assistance you want. We can help you:
- Plan for your future by discussing your options and determining which estate planning documents would fulfill your needs
- Make critical healthcare decisions and express your preferences to your medical providers and your family members
- Handle the financial and legal aspects of an estate when your loved one passes away
- File probate proceedings in court to administer an estate
- Inventory assets, validate creditor claims, and pay debts
- Execute the final distribution of property to the heirs
Together, we can carry out your wishes, as well as handle the final requests of your loved ones after they pass away. We also can address any disputes as they arise and take the measures needed to resolve them.
What You and Your Family Need to Know About Estate Planning
No matter your age or wealth, estate planning can be crucial to protect your property and ensure that it is distributed according to your wishes. If you have no estate plan, Florida Statutes § 732.102 determines which of your relatives get your property and how much property they each get, which might not always be what you had in mind.
By creating a comprehensive estate plan, you can make the necessary arrangements for taking care of your family and achieving your goals.
How Wills and Trusts Work
A will allows you to designate how you want specific pieces of property to be divided among your surviving family members or other heirs. You also can make arrangements for property to be given to charitable foundations or other organizations, as you wish. Your will leaves a blueprint showing exactly how you want to distribute your property after your death.
Trusts, on the other hand, can help minimize estate taxes and avoid lengthy probate. You can create different types of trusts, depending on your needs. At our law firm, a wills, trusts & probate attorney in Cocoa can help you determine your objectives and how to best carry out those objectives through the estate planning process.
How Powers of Attorney and Living Wills Work
Estate planning also involves planning for various end-of-life needs, including making decisions about your preferences for medical treatment and designating others to handle your affairs if you become unable to do so. A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to choose another person to handle designated tasks on your behalf, including financial, legal, and medical decisions.
These powers can go into effect immediately or upon a certain date or event, such as if you become incapacitated in some way.
A living will is a legal document that allows you to decide what sort of end-of-life care you prefer. For example, you can determine whether you want to be resuscitated or whether you want to receive artificial nutrition and hydration.
This legal document sets forth your preferences so that you can spare your loved ones from the challenges of making hard decisions when the time comes.
What You Need to Know About Probating an Estate After the Death of a Loved One
Probate is the process of carrying out the provisions of a will after a person passes away. If the person dies without a will, then the estate administration process also can help determine how to distribute property that belonged to the person and pay debts that they owe. Depending on the situation, these proceedings can take several months or more.
How to Probate a Will
After a person who has a will passes away, it is often necessary to admit the will to probate or start the estate administration process in probate court. The probate court exercises its legal authority to ensure that the estate is distributed and settled according to the will.
The court designates a personal representative, often choosing the person named in the will to fill this role, who then carries out certain duties to manage and administer the estate under Florida Statutes § 733.602.
Estates Without a Will
If a person passes away without a will, then state law determines how his or her property is divided and who receives it. This type of estate administration also occurs in probate court. Again, the probate court exercises its authority to ensure that the property is distributed properly according to state law.
Get Legal Assistance with Your Wills, Trusts, and Probate Issues Today
If you need to create a will, a trust, or other estate planning documents, we can help. Our commercial attorneys in Cocoa are here to not only create your estate plan but also to handle estate and probate proceedings after the death of a loved one. When you are facing an estate issue or a problem with a will, trust, or other estate planning document, we are here to help.
Contact Bogin, Munns & Munns today and begin getting legal assistance with estate planning and administration as needed. Call us today at (321) 633-3208 and learn more about the legal services that we can offer you.