Don’t leave major life decisions up to the courts. Take hold of your future.
Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning
At the Kendrick Law Group, we provide a full range of estate planning services to help you protect your assets and preserve your legacy for future generations. We prepare Wills, Trusts, Health Care Surrogate Designations and Powers of Attorney.
Our experienced attorneys will work with you to make sure your estate plan is specifically tailored to your needs. We provide assistance in all of the following areas:
- Preparing Wills
- Preparing Health Care documents
- Preparing Powers of Attorney
- Establishing Revocable Living Trusts to avoid Probate and protect financial decision-making
- Special Needs Planning for disabled individuals
- Planning to eliminate or reduce Estate Taxes
We spend time with our clients to discuss goals and review assets.
Do I need a Will?
Every adult who has assets or may have assets in the future should have a Will to ensure their property and savings will pass to the individuals they choose.
A Will allows you to direct how your property will be distributed after your lifetime. This includes not just real property, such as your home, but also other investments, bank accounts and interests you may have. A Will allows you to name a personal representative (known as an executor) who will manage and distribute your property immediately after your death and to name trustees who may manage money for children or other individuals with special needs. A Will also permits you to nominate a guardian who will take care of your children if you die while they are under the age of 18 years.
If you die without a Will, Florida law determines who receives your property after death.
A will controls assets in your name alone and only those that do not have beneficiary designations. Retirement accounts and life insurance policies usually permit you to name beneficiaries. Those beneficiaries will inherit those assets even if your Will states otherwise. These designations are very important, and we routinely review them with our clients to make sure they are accurate and up-to-date.
When should I review my Estate Plan?
You should review your Will and Estate Plan periodically and whenever your circumstances change.
A change in your family situation such as the birth of children or grandchildren or the marriage of your adult children, may require some fine-tuning of your estate plan. If looking forward to a second marriage, it is important to consider your Estate Plan in advance of your marriage, especially if you or your fiancé have children from a prior relationship. A change in the size of your estate (i.e. the total value of your assets) can require further planning to avoid estate taxes. Changes in the laws that affect estates (especially tax laws) may require changes in your Estate Plan. We periodically check in with our clients to ensure their Estate Plans are current.
Revocable Living Trusts
A trust is an entity that can hold and manage property in the trustee’s name instead of your name. Revocable living trusts are a useful tool, both to ensure that whoever you select will handle your finances if you become incompetent and to avoid probate of your estate.
A revocable living trust is one which you establish during your lifetime. You can revoke or amend the trust at any time. The person you select to manage the assets in the trust is your trustee. You can be your own trustee and you can also appoint a successor trustee who will handle the trust if you are no longer able to manage your own finances. After your lifetime, the assets in the trust pass to the individuals you designate without the requirement of probate or any court involvement.
If you are interested in Wills, Trusts or Estate Planning services, contact us today to set up your complimentary consultation.