Office InformationAddress Bogin, Munns & Munns, P.A.
8564 E County Road 466, Suite 102
The Villages, Florida 32162
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For many residents in The Villages, estate planning is an important step towards achieving peace of mind regarding the future. From addressing long-term medical care preferences to determining how to divide assets at the end of their life, they could benefit substantially from a comprehensive estate plan.
If you are making plans for the future, now is the right time to discuss your options. An estate planning lawyer in The Villages could ensure that your final wishes are heard, respected, and followed. To get started on your plan, get an initial consultation with Bogin, Munns & Munns by calling (352) 391-6031 right away.
Common Estate Planning Tools
There are many different reasons why you might seek a comprehensive estate plan. Some people might be focused on end-of-life care or their medical needs should they become incapacitated. Others could focus primarily on the distribution of their assets to their heirs following their passing. There are various tools that an estate plan can use to accomplish each of these goals.
Some commonly-used estate planning tools include:
- Last will and testament. This written document sets out your important decisions regarding the distribution of your assets following your death. It can also cover your wishes regarding the custody of your minor children.
- Trust. There are several types of trusts, both revocable or irrevocable. These legal entities hold your assets until your death, typically allowing your family to avoid the probate process.
- Living will. Unlike many other estate planning tools, a living will has nothing to do with distributing your assets when you die. As the name implies, it notes your important medical choices for your end-of-life care or in the case where you become incapacitated.
- Medical power of attorney. Similar to a living will, this document also relates to your medical decisions when you are no longer able to make them. Instead of writing out these decisions individually through a living will, a medical power of attorney appoints someone to act on your behalf and make those decisions for you.
These are only a few of the tools available to a The Villages estate planning lawyer. To discuss your options in detail, call (352) 391-6031 for a consultation with a representative from Bogin, Munns & Munns today.
The Probate Process
Probate proceedings are central to the administration of many estates in The Villages. For that reason, understanding how the process works could be invaluable to you. Probate is the process in which a decedent’s assets are distributed following their death, the American Bar Association (ABA) notes.
Probate can occur any time a decedent’s estate has assets—whether there is a will or not. The court will oversee the administration of the estate either according to the terms of the will or according to state law, should a will not exist.
Not every asset is subject to probate, however. Property owned in joint tenancy, as between a husband and wife, will not go to probate. Instead, it will remain the property of the surviving joint tenant. There are also certain assets that have designated beneficiaries. These assets do not require probate, either.
During probate, the court will appoint an administrator. If there is a will, the document frequently selects someone for the role. Without a will, the court will decide who oversees the probate process. This person will manage the final financial obligations of the estate and distribute the assets to the decedent’s heirs, among other responsibilities.
How these assets are distributed will depend on whether a will was made or not. If there is a will, the administrator must divide the property according to the document’s directions. Without a will, state law will determine how these assets are disbursed.
The Importance of an Updated Plan
An estate plan can help you prepare for the future, but that does not guarantee your plan will not need to be adjusted over time. Big changes happen in life, many of which are unexpected. As relationships change, your wants and needs may change as well. That is why it is vital that you regularly review and update your estate plan.
Many attorneys recommend updating your estate plan every five to ten years, no matter what. It is also worth reviewing your plan for necessary changes following any major milestone or life-changing event. For example, a divorce is frequently a good reason to consider an update to your estate plan. Your priorities may have shifted following the dissolution of a marriage.
The same is true following the birth of a new child. If your estate plan makes careful distributions for each individual child, you will likely want to make changes to include your newborn.
Only you can determine when a change to your estate plan is needed. Your attorney can help you make those changes and advise you on any major decisions regarding your plans.
Discuss Your Estate Planning Options with an Attorney
There is no better time to prepare an estate plan than the present. The earlier you make these decisions, the sooner you can sleep easy knowing your interests will be protected at the end of your life and beyond.
An estate planning lawyer serving The Villages from Bogin, Munns & Munns can help you with every aspect of your estate planning needs. If you are ready to get started, we can evaluate your situation and advise you on what could work for your family.
Call (352) 391-6031 for your consultation today.