Whether you are a parent, a property owner, or a professional, you need to protect your family and assets. No estate is too small for planning. Estate planning is a process involving the counsel of professional advisors who are familiar with your goals and concerns, your assets and how they are owned, and your family structure. It can involve the services of a variety of professionals, including your lawyer, accountant, financial planner, life insurance advisor, banker and broker.
Organizing your assets can help avoid family fights and reduce the stress of probate. If you fail to plan ahead, the court will appoint someone to handle your assets and personal care. Your assets will be distributed to your heirs according to a set of rules known as intestate succession. Contrary to popular belief, everything does not automatically go to the state if you die without a will. Your relatives, no matter how distant, will have priority in inheritance ahead of the state. Still, they may not be your choice of heirs. An estate plan gives you much greater control over who will inherit your assets after your death.
Less than half of all Florida residents have an estate plan in place yet the death rate in Florida has held steady at 100 percent. The reason for this lapse in judgment is most likely due to a focus on the word “estate” rather than the word “planning.” The two biggest misconceptions made by most South Floridians that lack comprehensive estate planning is that they are either too young to worry about it or not wealthy enough to worry about. However, the fact remains that very rarely is estate planning solely about the money.
While our South Florida estate planning attorneys have the expertise in tax planning, as well as the designations of LL.M. and CPA that provide for the highest level of professional service, our firm aims to shed the tax attorney paradigm that estate planners are often pigeon-holed with and focus instead on the dynamic relationships between our clients and their loved ones. Estate planning is about those friends and family left behind, which is why we first ask our clients what their wealth transfer and asset protection goals are and then explain how we can accomplish those goals together.
For more information on successful Florida estate planning and probate techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners, P.A. at 954-944-2855 to schedule your free consultation. It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?SM