Estate planning may seem like a complex task and one that many people like to put off or even ignore, but a well-thought out plan brings you great peace of mind and will have a long lasting impact on your family’s future. Estate planning is a critical step for preserving your resources, making sure that your assets are distributed in a way that you want them to be after you are gone, and ensuring that your wishes are known as to how you want to be cared for when you are no longer able to care for yourself.
While some of these things aren’t much fun to think about, when approached in a logical and informed manner, you will be much more confident in your decisions and avoid confusion and anxiety in the future. Glenn & Phanco, P.A. are estate planning attorneys in West Palm Beach who will help guide you through the estate planning processes and prepare your fundamental estate planning documents.
We specialize in working with clients to inform them about the various options and implications of each as it relates to addressing their specific needs. As our client, you will make all the decisions, but we will help you communicate your wishes clearly and legally, we will work with your tax professional to help minimize tax ramifications, and help you avoid mistakes. Knowing that clients’ needs are ever evolving, we will always be available to make adjustments for you as your circumstances and wishes change.
Estate Planning Services
Our firm prepares the following documents for asset protection and planning:
- Last Will and Testament – stating how your assets will be dispersed and naming your executor
- Trust – specifying how and when assets pass to beneficiaries and avoid probate
- Guardianship – appointing a representative to care for personal and property issues
- Durable Power of Attorney – naming someone to take care of your finances if it’s ever necessary
- Living Will – a directive to physicians and
family or surrogates for your end-of-life wishes
- Designation of Health Care Surrogate –
naming someone to make sure your healthcare choices are honored if you become incapacitated
- Tax Planning & Preparation – proper planning to minimize current and future tax liabilities
Estate Planning Issues
You may not have thought about what happens should you pass away before you have had a chance to do proper planning. The value of your estate could be greatly reduced by tax ramifications. Without an estate plan, the courts could decide who manages your estate, how assets will be divided, and even who cares for your children. In addition, it’s important that your loved ones know your intentions and plans so they don’t make decisions based on erroneous ideas of what they think you would have wanted.
You may have never considered some of the “what if” scenarios should you pass away before you have had a chance to do proper planning. Without an adequate and updated plan, much uncertainty and conflict can be created for your survivors during what will already be a very difficult time. Consider the following:
Beneficiaries – How will you provide for your family and ensure that your assets are distributed in the way you choose? Do you have children to protect? Blended or extended family members you want to take care of? Friends, charities, foundations, or intentions for other special people or interests that you would like to leave personal property or a portion of your wealth to?
Executor – Whom will you appoint as your personal representative? Do they possess the right qualities and can devote the time to handle the legalities and carry out the wishes of your will?
Probate – Is there a way for your family to avoid the time and expense of probate?
Guardianship – How can you avoid court appointed guardianship if you, yourself become incapacitated and unable to make financial and medical decisions?
Special Circumstances – Will you leave behind a disabled child or family member who will need special assistance? Do you wish to keep certain assets in the family if your spouse remarries? How do you protect your assets from creditors?
Eliminating Family Conflict – Is it possible to reduce the stress of loved ones during what will already be a very difficult time? Instructions as to the disposition of your final remains, distribution of sentimental personal items, and other written direction will help avoid confusion and controversy.
While currently these situations may or may not apply to you, it is important that you understand and consider some of the complexities that might remain for your family in the future should you not properly plan.
Financial and Personal Benefits
When it comes to estate planning, there are significant financial and personal benefits to being proactive and meeting with West Palm Beach estate planning attorneys. Your loved ones will avoid many legal hassles because you will be giving them the right tools to take carry out your wishes. You will determine how you want your personal, medical, and financial affairs handled, and the firm of Glenn & Phanco, P.A. will counsel you and prepare the proper documents to do so.
Call Glenn & Phanco, P.A., estate planning lawyers in West Palm Beach today for thorough, informed estate planning. Your peace of mind, security, and the future of your family are important to us. We will ensure that you are well-informed and confident about the preparations and choices you make.