Although some people believe estate planning is only for the elderly, the reality is that any adult can benefit from having an estate plan. You never know what tomorrow may bring, and understanding how wills, trusts, and the probate process could impact your loved ones after your passing is important.
If you want to create an estate plan, let our team help. A Villages wills, trusts, and probate lawyer from Bogin, Munns & Munns could provide you with clear guidance on planning for the future.
Who Needs an Estate Plan in The Villages?
Anyone can benefit from having an estate plan, but for some, the need is more pressing than others. Additionally, you should review your estate plan with your lawyer in The Villages after any major life event. Some of the best times to create or revise an estate plan include:
- After a wedding or divorce
- Following the birth or adoption of a child
- Diagnosis of a terminal illness
- Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia
- Death, major illness, or injury of a loved one
Making an estate plan is important, but you should not draft a will or trust and then forget about it entirely. These plans—particularly the beneficiary information—should be updated regularly.
Life can change, and your priorities can change with it. If you do not update your beneficiary information, your valuable belongings and assets could go to someone you wish they hadn’t.
To consult with an experienced wills, trusts and probate lawyer serving The Villages, call 855-780-9986
Draft a Will to Highlight Your Final Wishes
A last will and testament is the basic building block of most estate plans. While most people associate a will only with distributing property after your death, it can also represent your interests in other ways.
For starters, your will could identify your chosen administrator for your estate. This person will be charged with overseeing the process of dividing your assets. Your will could also name your chosen guardian for your minor children if you pass away before they reach age 18.
Much of what a will does is related to the distribution of your wealth following your passing. Your will identifies the beneficiaries of your estate and directs what assets they are entitled to. Your will could also work in conjunction with a trust to help your loved ones avoid the probate process.
The Villages Wills, Trusts and Probate Lawyer Near Me 855-780-9986
Create a Trust to Provide a Smooth Transfer of Wealth
Trusts are useful tools that could provide a smooth transition for your family following your passing. These legal entities hold your assets and transfer those assets immediately upon your death without the need for probate. Trusts also have potential tax benefits for you and your heirs.
Trusts are either revocable or irrevocable. According to the Florida Bar, you can alter the terms or beneficiaries of a revocable trust whenever you want during your lifetime. Changes to an irrevocable trust are much more complicated and typically require court intervention.
In either case, when you pass away, your remaining assets held in the trust will transfer to your loved ones. In some cases, the assets could remain in the trust while a trustee oversees them. This is common when minor children are beneficiaries.
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Avoid Probate to Make Life Easier for Your Beneficiaries
For many people, the ultimate goal of an estate plan is avoiding probate. Probate is a court process designed to divide your assets following your death. Going through probate can be both costly and time-consuming for your loved ones. Thankfully, a wills, trusts, and probate attorney serving The Villages could help you develop an estate plan that avoids probate.
The probate process can take months or even years, and documentation of the process becomes public record. If your family members value privacy, avoiding probate could be the best option.
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Take Steps to Plan for Your Long-Term Care With Assistance From a Lawyer in The Villages
Estate planning primarily focuses on what happens to your property and assets after you pass away. However, you will also make decisions in your estate plan that can impact your life when you are most vulnerable. Various estate planning documents can ensure your wishes are adhered to if you cannot make your own decisions about medical care (for example, if you are unconscious or in a coma).
A Villages wills, trusts and probate attorney from our firm could help you develop a living will. A living will is a legal document that describes your preferences regarding end-of-life treatment. If you cannot make these decisions yourself, your living will could inform doctors of your view on certain interventions like feeding tubes or life support. These documents may also include your preferences regarding blood transfusions or organ donation.
Your The Villages estate planning lawyer could also prepare a designation of healthcare surrogate. According to University of Florida Health, this document appoints someone to make important medical decisions on your behalf. Also known as a healthcare proxy, this individual will have the final say on treatment when you can’t make those decisions independently.
Talk to an Attorney in The Villages About Wills, Trusts and the Probate Process
If you are considering an estate plan, you do not have to do so alone. Relying on legal counsel could help ensure that your property is divided according to your final wishes. A The Villages attorney could rely on their knowledge of wills, trusts, and the probate process to ensure your needs are met.
The attorneys of Bogin, Munns & Munns are ready to guide you through the estate planning process. With the guidance of a The Villages wills, trusts, and probate lawyer, you could develop a plan that meets your needs and provides you with peace of mind. Reach out as soon as possible for your initial consultation.