What is the definition of estate planning?
A set of directions that you leave for your family and loved ones directing them what to do in the event of your death or incapacity.
What is an estate?
All the personal and real property that a person owns when they die.
Why would I need an estate planning attorney?
To protect your family. A properly drafted and signed will legally protects your spouse, children, and assets. It also allows you to determine how your assets are distributed upon your passing instead of the probate court deciding for you. There are many details associated with estate planning, please contact us to discuss. We offer a free 30-minute consultation.
What is a Trust?
A document that is created by the trust maker or grantor to state how to transfer ownership of certain assets and who to appoint as a trustee to manage those assets for the benefit of the beneficiaries.
Why should I set up a trust?
It simplifies the process for your beneficiaries and provides an estate planning tool to implement a plan for particular assets.
What are the different types of trusts?
A will can include a testamentary trust that provides a plan for beneficiaries that are minors. One of the most flexible types of trust is a revocable living trust. Of course, many different trusts can be created to ensure your wishes are implemented.
What is Pet Estate Planning?
Florida law allows a pet owner to establish a pet trust to provide for pets during the pet’s lifetime.
What are Special Needs trusts and why would I need one?
The term Special Needs describes any trust intended to provide benefits without causing the beneficiary to lose public benefits he or she is entitled to receive.
Is an estate account a trust account?
No. An estate account is held in the name of the decedent during probate. A trust account is owned and associated with a properly signed trust and does not involve the probate court.
What is estate conservation?
In Florida, we do not have a state estate tax. If your estate is subject to the federal estate tax, you should meet with an attorney to plan effectively so that you do all you can to conserve the value of your estate.
How much does it cost to create an estate plan?
We offer flat fees for most estate planning and we do our best to create documents that will work for you in many different future situations. If things stay the same, you should have to create 1 estate plan. We do provide individual documents and estate planning packages that include all of the documents or tools needed to ensure you are able to protect your family or your business. Since we offer a 30 minute FREE no obligation consultation, we suggest you meet with us so you can budget for your estate planning.
How much does it cost for an estate lawyer?
It depends. Some complex situations are billed on an hourly basis. We do provide flat fees for many of our services plus a free 30-minute consultation. We want you to be able to plan so all you need to invest is 30 minutes to determine what is necessary to create your estate plan.
What if either I or my loved one cannot get to your office?
DSM Law is known to go to our clients, if necessary. Our goal for our clients is to get their wishes properly documented in their estate plans so we do our best to do what is necessary to accomplish that goal.
What is the role of a probate attorney?
The process of properly assessing, dividing and distributing assets can be time consuming and complicated for a personal representative. A probate attorney guides, oversees and explains all of the details associated with one’s estate to a personal representative as it is processed through our probate system. The probate system provides the legal means to transfer assets and serves to ensure (or does all that is possible to ensure) that asset ends up where the owner intended. Often through our probate system, an attorney is necessary to distribute an asset that was owned by a deceased person.
What does it mean to probate a will?
To transfer those assets that are owned only by the decedent (the person who passed away) to beneficiaries. The process is supervised by the probate court.
What can a trust account be used for?
To create a trust, the property owner (grantor) transfers legal ownership to a person or an institution (trustee) to manage that property for the benefit of 3rd party (beneficiary). The grantor may act as the trustee himself or herself, and retain ownership instead of transferring the property, but he or she still must act as a fiduciary. A grantor may also name himself or herself as one of the beneficiaries of the trust. In any trust arrangement, however, the trust cannot become effective until the grantor funds the trust or in other words, transfers the property to the trust.
What is business succession planning?
It is a plan that sets forth the legal, financial, psychological, familial and management strategies for the transfer or sale of your business upon your retirement or death.
Is business planning only for large corporations?
Absolutely not. If a business is profitable, it needs a succession plan. The business is an asset and therefore it has some type of value for one’s beneficiaries.