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St. Petersburg Estate Planning Lawyer

Planning for the end of one’s life may seem like a dire or gloomy task. However, if you think of it as an opportunity to leave your family with finances to help them after you are gone, and an opportunity to plan for your final wishes, the process of will and estate planning can carry a whole new light. Our St. Petersburg estate planning lawyers will help you draft the right will, estate, and advance directives for your specific needs. Contact us today to set up an appointment at your earliest convenience.

The Will

Everyone should have a will at minimum, even if they also plan to have an estate or trust. Wills can help take care of items big and small, and can be more personal than a trust. Additionally, they are more simple to set up. Overall, a will is a personalized document that can be used for:

  • Transferring property to heirs;
  • Giving specific personal items or property to individuals;
  • Appointing personnel executors of an estate;
  • Appointing guardians for children under 18 years of age;
  • Giving final burial or other wishes;
  • Appointing a property manager for property that you leave your your non-adult children; and
  • Instructing how you wish bills and/or debts to be paid off.

Trusts

If you have large assets that you wish to leave behind, a trust is most likely the way to go. Trusts can help you to avoid excessively burdensome tax and probate so that your loved ones receive these assets more quickly and more efficiently. Probate can be a lengthy and expensive process, which is never something anyone wants to go through after the recent loss of a loved one. Trusts are also more difficult to challenge in court. While not common, both trusts and wills may be challenged in court, though it is much more difficult to challenge a trust than a will. Most people do not have to worry about federal tax being imposed on their will or trust, as an individual can leave $5.45 million behind without being taxed, while a married couple can leave $10.9 million, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Indeed, 99.8 percent of estates do not have to worry about any estate tax, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. However, special needs trusts and irrevocable trusts lower these taxes if you are leaving more than $5.45 million behind. Additionally, trusts are not on the public record, unlike wills, meaning that there is greater privacy when it comes to trusts than wills.

Advance Directives

It is always wise to take your own care into consideration in the event that you go through a physical or mental accident or period of decline, whether temporary or permanent, that renders you incapable of decision making. This can include deciding upon power of lawyer, health care surrogates, and living wills.

Contact Our Experienced St. Petersburg Estate Planning Lawyers

These decisions are best left to a trusted professional, not a judge or distressed family members who may disagree on what they think your wishes were. Call the St. Petersburg estate planning lawyers of Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian at 1-800-227-2275 to begin your estate planning today.

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