Boca Raton Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning is an important process for any individual who has assets, such as property, monetary savings, or valuables with considerable monetary value. Estate planning crosses over with probate law and elder law, especially in cases where the individual’s will is partially or wholly earmarked for his or her long-term care.
This process can be long, complicated and overwhelming for family members. It is key that the testator, his or her attorney, and any intended beneficiaries of the estate establish open communication about this topic as well as clear boundaries. Contact our Boca Raton estate planning attorneys for more information.
Topics Involved in Boca Raton Estate Planning
Many issues, concerns and protocols fall under the estate planning umbrella. Examples of issues faced during the estate planning process include:
- The creation of wills and trusts;
- Powers of appointment;
- Beneficiary designations;
- Durable medical and financial powers of attorney;
- Property ownership, which includes issues of joint tenancy with rights of survivorship, tenancy in common, and tenancy by the entirety; and
Some individuals opt to create living wills, which are documents that direct loved ones, attorneys and medical professionals toward a patient’s wishes for his or her care and estate if he or she becomes ill or incapacitated to the point that he or she cannot make his or her own decisions any longer.
Estate Planning in Boca Raton
In Florida, an individual must be at least eighteen years old or an emancipated minor to be able to create a legally-binding will. At least two witnesses and the testator must be present when the witnesses sign the will and the witnesses must sign it while in each others’ and the testator’s presence. Holographic and oral wills are not recognized in Florida. Holographic wills are handwritten, non-notarized documents. An oral will is simply an oral request regarding the testator’s legacy made to witnesses, usually on the testator’s deathbed.
Any jointly-owned property automatically goes to the property’s other owner or owners upon the testator’s death. Once an estate has been opened and a personal representative has been selected for its administration, a Notice of Administration must be published in order to alert creditors that the estate has been opened and that they may file any necessary claims against it. Creditors have three months following the Notice of Administration to file any claims they have. The estate’s personal representative must have all asset appraised, determine the tax returns that must be prepared and filed and arrange for them to be handled, and create an inventory of assets to distribute to the estate’s beneficiaries. Our Boca Raton estate planning attorneys can provide more information.
Our Boca Raton Estate Planning Attorneys Can Help
Estate planning is important for any individual who has assets. This eliminates any fighting, strained relationships, and surprise burdens on the individual’s family members after his or her death. By planning for the future of one’s estate, an individual takes a responsible, proactive role that will benefit his or her relatives in the future. For help with this often overwhelming process, call Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. at 561-395-0000. The team at Lavalle, Brown & Ronan, P.A. has helped plan estates for individuals in the Boca Raton area for a combined 130 years and has built one of the most well-known, trusted firms in the region.