Your estate is made up of your life’s work and your legacy. Everyone who has any assets or real property has an estate, and many people want these assets to bring financial and material benefits to their family and loved ones. A comprehensive estate plan can help you do this.
Estate planning is beneficial for many individuals and families. An estate plan allows you to have control over your estate and names the beneficiaries of your assets when you die. When you create a complete estate plan, you can help your loved ones avoid the lengthy probate process and ensure that they receive the maximum benefits. An estate plan is only useful if it is legally enforceable and properly addresses your goals. When you work with a St. Augustine estate planning attorney, you can feel confident that your estate plan can match your individual needs.
No two estates are the same, and no two approaches to estate planning will be identical. At the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., we understand how to tailor an estate plan to your individual circumstances, estate, and beneficiaries. An estate plan can:
Our attorneys have 20 years of experience serving the community in the St. Augustine area, and we are proud to help families and individuals create legally enforceable and clear estate plans that carry out their wishes. Estate planning can be complicated, but we have the knowledge to help you with these delicate issues, allowing you to feel confident about the future.
The primary goals for different individuals creating estate plans include:
Specific documents in an estate plan allow you to avoid the process of probate court. Probate is a time-consuming and expensive process that your family will have to endure if you die without a comprehensive estate plan. Probate administration will identify the assets in the estate, pay creditors, and divide assets among heirs based on a will or inheritance laws. This process could take months or years. Your family will not be able to benefit from your estate while it is in probate court, and a portion of the estate will be lost to federal estate taxes, court costs, and creditor claims. Probate is also a public affair, and your estate and benefits to your assets will become public record.
By keeping most of your estate out of probate, you can limit the time and stress that your family is under while they are grieving your loss. You can also ensure that they receive the most benefits possible from your estate.
The specifics of an estate plan vary based on your needs, the size and requirements of your estate, and your wishes for asset protection and asset distribution. When you discuss your goals for your estate with an attorney, they can determine what documents fit your needs to help you pass on your estate. A comprehensive estate plan generally includes most of the following documents:
Unlike other estate planning documents, creating only a will does not allow your estate to avoid probate court. Your will is a public document, and the assets will pass into probate after your death.
If you become incapacitated without powers of attorney, your loved ones will have to petition the court to make important decisions or actions, such as paying bills or selecting healthcare facilities. This can take significant time and money, especially if different family members are disputing over who should receive that authority.
Advance directives also list a healthcare surrogate, who can make healthcare decisions on your behalf, following the guidelines of the advance directives.
Estate planning may be overwhelming, but a knowledgeable attorney has experience drafting and creating a legally enforceable and beneficial estate plan. When you need to plan for the future or want to protect your assets, contact the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., and let us help you create an estate plan to address your needs.
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