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Protecting You And Your Loved One Through Estate Planning

Creating a good estate plan is critical to ensuring the smooth and easy transition of your assets and treasured personal belongings to the next generation of your family and protect your interests during your lifetime. From large and complex estates that include investments, business interests, and real property to small personal estates, everyone benefits from a comprehensive estate plan. At the Sarasota law firm of Lyons, Beaudry & Harrison, our board-certified attorney in wills, trusts and estates will help you draft estate planning documents that are custom-tailored to your needs and wishes.

The Many Advantages Of A Proper Estate Plan And Wealth Management

For those with large and complex estates, including investments, property or a business, wealth management is an essential part of estate planning. These types of estates are most likely to yield significant estate tax at both the federal and state levels. When you create a sound estate plan, it makes for a smoother transition of your assets to your loved ones, and it can save your heirs from the financial burden of estate taxes.

A comprehensive estate plan may consist of a will, trust, durable power of attorney, advanced health care directive and living will. The estate plan should contemplate the disposition of assets that may not be part of your estate or trust, including retirement accounts, insurance policies and financial accounts for which you have designated a beneficiary in the event of your death. All of these assets should be considered as part of your estate planning.

The creation of trusts and estate planning relating to wealth has many advantages:

  • Avoiding probate. The creation of a trust may avoid probate or limit the assets subject to the expense of probate administration. If you pass away without a will (dying intestate), your estate may be subject to probate and your probate assets will be distributed to your heirs as determined by the Florida Probate Code.
  • Managing incapacity issues. Having a wealth management and a comprehensive estate plan also protects you if you should become medically incapacitated, unable to make decisions for yourself, or suffer from diminished capacity to such an extent that you become susceptible to undue influence and financial exploitation. It allows assets to transfer smoothly to your loved ones and provides the funds for your living expenses, living arrangements, health care costs and best interest.
  • Reducing estate taxes. Wealth management arrangements – such as trusts or family partnerships – can reduce the amount of estate taxes your heirs need to pay during the transfer of your estate. This includes both federal estate tax and potentially estate taxes imposed by a state. The state of Florida has no estate tax.
  • Income tax planning. With the substantial increase of the federal estate tax exemption, a wealth management and a comprehensive estate plan may take into account the income tax advantages created by your death, because the value of your estate will receive a “step up” in federal income tax basis as determined on the date of your death.

We Will Handle Every Aspect Of Your Estate Plan

Our team members have decades of combined experience in estate planning and wealth management. Our board-certified attorney in wills, trusts and estates will help you to craft a comprehensive estate plan to protect your interests during your lifetime and work with your fiduciary to distribute your estate after you pass away in accordance with your estate plan.

We Can Help You Establish A Trust To Protect You And Your Assets

A trust is a legal document that puts some of your assets, such as investments, property and cash, under the management of someone else upon your death. This is useful in estate planning tool, not only to avoid probate, but for providing lasting income for family members, heirs and charities. A trust can be used to transfer control over the trust property to a person of trust or corporate trustee when you are suffering from diminished capacity to protect you from undue influences and financial exploitation. It is also useful for avoiding federal estate tax and taking advantage of federal income tax planning. To make sure that you get the most out of your trust, work with the experienced trust administration lawyers at Lyons, Beaudry & Harrison. Our knowledgeable attorney helps you draft a trust that meets your needs while also helping your trustees avoid unnecessary disputes.

The Right Kind Of Trust To Suit Your Needs

The fundamental purpose of a trust is to manage and distribute wealth. Some trusts terminate and the trust assets distributed with the creator’s death, while others continue to function long after. A trust is a useful estate planning tool for anyone with significant assets and long-term goals for their wealth management.

Trusts need to be administered properly to avoid situations that lead to litigation. Working with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney, you can find the option that works best for your estate plan. This might include:

  • Revocable trust – With a revocable trust, your assets become part of the trust, but you maintain control of them and make any changes you see fit.
  • Irrevocable trust – With an irrevocable trust, your assets are transferred to the trust and are no longer yours. There are many different types of irrevocable trusts utilized for income and estate tax planning, and creditor protection. In Florida, a self-settled trust does not have creditor protection, but there are other trust alternatives. You are not able to make changes to an irrevocable trust without the consent of its beneficiaries, a trust protector or order of the court. Depending on the terms of the trust, the trust assets will not be subject to estate taxes upon your death and you may pass your trust estate to generations of your family without federal estate tax consequences.

We will review your estate, learn about your goals and help you determine what kind of trust is best for you.

Well-Crafted Trusts Are More Likely To Prevent Disputes

The validity of a trust may be disputed for the same reason as a will – usually because someone is seen as having undue influence over the person who created it or the person who created the trust was deceived by a third party. In addition, trust disputes may happen if the trust is poorly written or constructed so that the trust fails to express the intent of the grantor or requires court action to interpret the intent of the grantor.

Meet With A Florida Board-Certified Sarasota Estate Planning Attorney Today

Call 941-366-3282 or contact us online to make an appointment with the estate planning and wealth management attorney at Lyons, Beaudry & Harrison. Our offices are conveniently located on the corner of Main Street and Orange Avenue in Sarasota, Florida.