Estate Administration & Planning

Every one of us, especially those of us with families, can benefit from estate planning.

While we most often think of estates as large homes or accumulated wealth, legally, an estate is just comprised of everything an individual owns. Another term for this is “net worth.” This includes one’s home, vehicles, and other assets, including both property and money.

An estate plan, then, refers to how these assets are divided and distributed while we’re alive and after we’ve passed. The most basic of estate planning tools, the will, for example, helps us distribute our assets after we’ve died in a way that is in line with our wishes.

When individuals fail to create a will in Florida, the distribution of their property is determined by state intestacy laws. Currently, married individuals can expect their property to be distributed to their spouses unless they have children with another individual. In that case, the children and the spouse will generally split the property 50/50. When an individual dies without a spouse, the inheritance is split among their children, or if there are none, among siblings or parents.

In some cases, this may not seem like an issue. However, current Florida estate laws don’t account for common law marriage or for situations in which relationships have soured. For example, the state will split your assets equally among your children, even if you no longer have a relationship with one of them.

Protect your family and ensure your hard-earned property is distributed as per your wishes. Contact Perry Douglas West, Esq., today.

What are the Components of Estate Planning?

Everyone’s needs are different, and every estate plan should be unique in order to best meet those needs. Estate plans traditionally include wills and can also include living trusts, living wills, trusts, power of attorney, and medical directives.

If you’re unsure of whether a will or a living trust will be in your best interest, it’s imperative that you discuss your situation with a skilled estate planning lawyer. Together, you can determine which assets are best included in a living trust and which should be dispursed via your will.

In case of illness or injury, it’s important that individuals have medical directives on file that can help their families make the best choices possible in case life-saving measures are required. A power of attorney can ease this process by appointing a trustworthy individual do handle particular matters should such a situation arise.

Estate planning requires specialized knowledge and shouldn’t be handed over to a general practitioner. With decades of experience assisting Floridians with their estate planning and administration, Perry Douglas West, Esq., is well-versed in both state and federal estate laws and adept at crafting legally-binding agreements that protect his clients’ assets. Together, we can determine which estate planning tools are necessary in order to achieve your ends.

Plan for the Future with Perry Douglas West, Esq.

Every estate requires its own plan that takes into account an individual’s assets and wishes. When you consult with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer in Florida, your desires should be at the forefront of the planning process.

At Perry Douglas West, Esq., we understand the desire to protect one’s assets and help our clients do so in a way that is in line with their values and goals. Through the use of various estate planning tools, we create a unique plan for each of our clients that helps protect their property now and in the future.

It’s never too early to start planning—contact Perry Douglas West, Esq., today.