ESTATE PLANNING SERVICES
Please note that the description of services and areas or practice below are intended only as a brief summary of these practice areas and not intended as legal advice or guidance.
Estate planning can sound intimidating, expensive and complicated. The truth is everyone can benefit from estate planning and a basic estate plan does not need to be complicated or expensive. At the Law Offices of Kenneth J. Nota, PA, we will develop an estate plan strategy that fits your needs and at a rate you can afford. When considering an estate plan, it is important to think about what is important to you and the ones you love. With the current federal estate tax exemption being high, for most Floridans, estate planning is less about tax avoidance, and more about helping you carry out your desires, while making things easier on the ones you love if you become incapacitated or pass away. Typical elements of estate planning can involve establishing a trust, executing a will, designating a health care surrogate, creating a durable power of attorney, preparing a living will and changing the way certain assets are held.
An Inter Vivos Revocable Trust. Sometimes called a living trust, is established during your lifetime. You act as the trustee and are the primary beneficiary. Upon death, you designate who the remainder beneficiaries are and how the trust assets will be handled. While alive, you retain complete control of the trust and the assets. A primary benefit is that upon death, the assets in the trust become available for distribution without the hassle and delay of going through probate.*
Will. A will is the means by which, among other things, you specify who gets certain assets you own at the time of your death. It also lets you designate who will oversee your estate, how and when you heirs will receive those assets and appoint guardians for minor children.
Durable Power of Attorney. A durable power of attorney lets you appoint someone as your agent to act in your place on certain matters and remains effective even if you should become incapacitated and unable to act on your own. It can mitigate the need for a guardian and allows your agent to access to your assets and make decisions if your place.
Designate of Health Care Surrogate. This is an important document. It allows you to designate someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. Unlike a power of attorney, this is specific to health care related decisions. It also allows your surrogate to gain access to your confidential medical information and records.*
Living Will. A living will, sometimes called an advanced directive, allows you to express your wishes in the event that you become terminally ill or are in an irreversible comma and cannot express those wishes at the time. You can specify what life-saving and extra-ordinary means should or shouldn’t be used if you are in that situation. It also helps avoid conflicts and stress for you loved ones who might otherwise have to decide.
*This is a brief description of some of the features of these documents and is not intended as legal advice. Documents need to properly prepared and coordinated by an attorney in order to provide the benefits you desire.