Estate Planning Fundamentals
Benefits of Estate Planning
In the absence of planning to the contrary, your estate will be distributed according to Florida’s laws of intestacy. This so-called “default” estate plan might not reflect your wishes. This is a one of the benefits of estate planning. With advance planning, your estate will be administered according to your exact preferences.
Planning is Important for Every Adult
At Perlin Estate Planning & Probate, we get to know you and understand your specific needs and concerns. In doing so, we can a tailor a plan that’s just right for you.
Do You Need an Estate Plan?
Check out the following videos to help decide whether you need an estate plan as a young family or a single adult.
The Purpose of a Trust
A Trust can serve a variety of legal, personal, investment and tax planning purposes. At the most basic level, a trust is a legal entity with at least three parties involved:
- The Trust-Maker (the grantor or settlor)
- Trust Manager (the trustee)
- The Trust Beneficiary
Sometimes, all three parties are one person or a married couple. In the case of a revocable living trust, a person may create a trust and name himself or herself as the current trustee to manage the trust assets, and can also be the beneficiary of such assets.
Advantages of Creating a Trust
Avoidance of Probate: In most cases, assets owned in a revocable living trust will pass to the trust beneficiaries immediately upon the death of the trust-maker(s), with no probate required.
Tax Advantages: Certain trusts also may result in tax advantages, both for the trust-maker and the beneficiaries.
To Protect Proprty From Creditors: Trusts may also be used to protect property from creditors, or simply to provide for someone else to manage and invest property for the trust-maker(s) and the named beneficiaries.
Continued Effectiveness: If properly drafted, another advantage of trusts is their continuing effectiveness, even if the trust-maker dies or becomes incapacitated.
Learn More About Living Trusts
What is a Will?
A Will is a part of a comprehensive estate plan. If a person dies without a will, he/she is said to have died “intestate” and state law will determine how the assets will be distributed.
Some things to know about wills:
For Parents of Minors, a Will is a Critical Document!
It is used to nominate the guardians of minor children, should they be orphaned. All parents of minor children should document their choice of guardians within a Will. Without doing so, it is possible to cause family infighting, or to leave your children in the care of the wrong guardian.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document giving one person (the “Agent”) the legal right to do certain things on behalf of the person who grants those powers. A power of attorney may be very broad and comprehensive, or very limited and specific. All powers of attorney terminate upon the death of the principle, and may also terminate when the principal becomes incapacitated.
When Should a Durable Power of Attorney Be Used?
When the intent is to designate a back-up decision-maker in the event of incapacity, then a durable power of attorney should be used. Durable powers of attorney do not end at incapacity; however, because banks and other financial institutions may hesitate to honor a power of attorney that is more than a few years old, durable powers of attorney should be updated regularly.
“A Power of Attorney is an important document for every adult, regardless of your financial situation or age.”
Health Care Documents
Health Care Documents are important documents for every adult, regardless of your financial situation or age.
Perlin Estate Planning & Probate assists clients with Estate Planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Elder Law, Long-Term Care Planning, Medicaid Planning, Veterans Benefits, Charitable Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Tax Planning, Business Succession Planning and Asset Protection in Miami, Coral Gables, Pinecrest, Miami Beach and the surrounding areas.
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