Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning
Many people have heard of estate planning, and may even know that it is something they should do, but are not really sure what it entails. At Wyrough Law Firm, we help clients throughout the Florida Panhandle from our office in Miramar Beach with their estate planning questions. Our head attorney has over 20 years of legal experience, so there isn’t much he hasn’t encountered. Some common questions we hear include:
Do I Need A Will?
Too often, people think that a will is something only the very wealthy need to worry about. Anyone with a modest amount of assets who wants to control where they go after they pass should consider a will. This is especially true if you are in a second marriage and want to protect your children’s inheritance. Parents of minor children should also have a will to appoint a guardian in case of their death.
What Is A Power Of Attorney?
In general, a Florida durable power of attorney allows someone you name as your attorney-in-fact to handle your finances and assets on your behalf. You can make this power broad so they can act any time, or you can restrict it to only go into effect if you are mentally incapacitated and can no longer make decisions for yourself.
My Loved One Died. Do We Have To Go Through Probate?
Only a probate attorney can tell you for sure if you will need to probate your loved one’s estate. In Florida, the courts generally require a probate if an estate has over $75,000 in probate assets. Those are assets in the decedent’s sole name without a designated beneficiary. An attorney should review your assets to help you identify the type and amount of assets involved.
What Is The Purpose Of A Trust?
Trusts come in many forms and can serve many purposes. Many families create a living trust, which allows the creator of the trust to pass his or her estate to heirs without going through probate. The trust names a trustee to handle the assets and make sure they are passed along to the proper beneficiaries. Trusts are slightly more complicated than a will, however, and an attorney should explain your options and oversee its administration.