Trusted Representation In Florida Since 1987

Q&A – Estate Planning (Scott Reed)

What does an estate planning attorney do?

Assist clients with end-of-life planning, distribution of assets, incapacity planning, and tax planning.

How much does estate planning cost?

Typically, a will, medical directives, and financial directive cost about $750.

When should I hire an estate planning attorney?

When you become an adult, get married, have children, or face a life-altering situation such as aging or retiring.

What is the difference between a will and a trust?

A will is a document that tells a court and probate of the state who will be your personal representative and who will receive your assets. A trust is intended to take title to assets and provide a method of distribution without the necessity of probate.

How long does the estate planning process take?

Typically, a couple of weeks.

What documents are involved in estate planning?

A testament, durable POA, living will and health care directive, and HIPAA release.

Can I update my estate plan on my own?

Yes, but the laws regarding execution of a will are very specific and you can spend a lot of time correcting errors or have them properly reviewed and corrected from the beginning.

What are the benefits of having a living will or healthcare directive?

Living wills are your specific wishes regarding life support. The benefits are that it makes your wishes clear to loved ones and doctors. It makes it easier for them to make those choices because you have told them what your wishes are. Healthcare directive identifies who the person or persons are appointed to make decisions when the doctor determines you are no longer able to make
decisions on your own.

How can I minimize estate taxes?

For most people there is no federal estate tax unless the estate is over $13 million. Florida has no estate tax. However, if you do have a larger estate, there are different actions you can take. These decisions should involve, accountant, attorney, and financial advisor.

Do I need an estate planning attorney if I don’t have significant assets?

Yes. Primarily, it helps identify who will make decisions for you when you reach an incapacitated state and, if you have minor children, who will be appointed as their guardian.