Regardless of the amount of your wealth, it is important to learn how to legally protect your assets so that after your passing they are used and distributed as you desire. Additionally, if you were to become incapacitated, your estate plan will help dictate your wishes. When it comes to asset protection planning, estate planning protects your valuable assets in some very specific ways. If you are wondering how estate planning protects your assets in Florida, we are here to help!
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is a form of asset protection that indicates what happens to your estate when you die or become incapable of managing your own affairs. One very recognizable part of this process is drafting a will or trust that tells others how you want your valuable assets to be handled. These wishes are often spelled out in a specific legal document called a trust.
A trust is more comprehensive than a will. Depending on the type of trust you choose, you can protect personal property, business assets, and retirement accounts. A trust, along with other important estate planning documents, can allow you to establish medical preferences, protect real estate, determine guardianship for minor children, name your trustee and power of attorney, and more.
Due to the variety of individual circumstances, estate planning can be a very delicate and/or complicated process. For this reason, there are a number of different kinds of trusts to choose from, including revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, charitable trusts, living trusts, special needs trusts, etc. For legal advice about what type of trust would be best for your situation, contact our knowledgeable estate planning attorneys.
Estate Planning Helps Avoid Probate
Estate planning is important because it is one of your best asset protection strategies against probate court. Probate is an expensive, lengthy court process that oversees the distribution of a person’s personal and business assets if they have not legally solidified their desires in certain estate planning documents. Establishing a trust helps avoid the complication and costs of probate (possibly being attorney fees, inheritance taxes, income taxes, estate taxes, etc.), leaving the most benefits/assets possible to your designated beneficiaries.
Estate Planning Protects Against Creditors & Other Claimants
When you take the time to develop a strong trust during your estate planning process, you are not only helping to protect your wishes and your beneficiaries, but also protecting your assets against others who might attempt to claim them. While some federal and state laws protect your assets from potential creditors, lawsuits, and persons such as former spouses, developing a strong estate plan will further limit these possibilities.
Estate Planning is Personal
The process of asset protection for your estate is personal. And, in your individual situation, we want to help you with the most effective asset protection possible. To discuss your estate planning options with a knowledgeable, compassionate attorney in Florida, please contact us. We are committed to hearing about what is important to you!