Our Services

Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process by which we review the client’s assets, liabilities, and discuss in detail their planning objectives. The attorney may then work to prepare the documents necessary to allow for the management and disposition of an individual’s assets in the event of their incapacity or death. This planning includes the devise of assets to heirs and the settlement of estate taxes, if applicable. Most estate plans are established with the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney, and may include documents such as a Revocable Living Trust, Amendment to Trust, Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate, Living Will, Declaration Naming Preneed Guardian, and maybe even an Enhanced Life Estate Deed.

Probate Administration

The manner in which property passes upon a loved one’s death depends upon how the property was owned. Property may be owned in a way in which it passes automatically to another through a beneficiary designation. That could be in the form of a payable on death (POD), or transfer on death (TOD) beneficiary, for example. We would describe such property as “non-probate.” The decedent could also own property jointly with the right of survivorship, which means the survivor automatically becomes the owner of the whole (also non-probate). This could also apply to a joint bank account.

After a loved one passes away, if they die leaving individually owned assets, the probate process will be needed to transfer those assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries. Property of this type is generally referred to or described as “probate property.” The probate of his or her estate allows for the effective management and distribution of said assets in accordance with the terms of their Will, or in accordance with the Florida laws of intestate succession, should they die without a Will. The term probate refers to the process of filing a Will with the Probate court and administering the estate according to the terms of said Will. A common misconception is that drafting a Will allows you to avoid probate. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Trust Administration

Trust administration refers to the successor trustee’s management of the trust property after the settlor’s death. The trustee is bound to administer the trust in accordance with the trust document’s terms for the benefit of the beneficiaries. It is recommended that the successor trustee engage an attorney to help guide and protect him or her throughout the administration process.