What the Heck?! | Estate Planning Edition

  • What the heck is an estate?

Probate is the court-supervised process of identifying and gathering the assets of a decedent, paying the decedent’s debts and distributing the balance of the assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries (testate) or heirs (int

  • What the heck is an estate plan?

An estate plan is just that…a plan to determine how you want your estate distributed upon your death.  It can be as simple as a couple-page last will and testament or more complex utilizing a revocable living trust or other similar planning tools.  

  • Why the heck do I need one anyway?

Proper estate planning takes the guess work out of handling your final affairs.  It also sets guidelines for your loved ones and provides certain warranties and allowances not otherwise given without court order to finalize your affairs, sell your property, and otherwise distribute your assets to your intended beneficiaries.  

  • What the heck are my options and how do I choose?

Last Will and Testament -  A last will and testament is a valuable tool that allows you to direct who receives your assets and property when you die. It also can direct who you choose to care for your minor children if you pass away before they are adults.  Without a will, the law decides and, depending on your personal family situation, that may not coincide with your actual wishes.  If it’s not written down, it doesn’t count!  The law will not uphold what you told your family you wanted once you pass away.  Don’t let the law dictate how your legacy should be divided.

Revocable Living Trust - A trust is an agreement that creates a separate entity that is created to help your beneficiaries avoid the costs associated with probate and help ensure your assets are transferred and distributed more efficiently and effectively.  A trust can provide conditions for beneficiaries so they do not receive certain gifts outright if it is not in their best interest to do so.

Choosing between a will or a trust will depend on your unique situation.  Attorney Dena Rogers will listen to you and help you decide which is better for your family.  Call (727) 900-5611 today to get answers to your Florida estate planning questions.