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Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning

Do you have estate planning questions that you need answered? You’re not alone. Many people are unsure about what estate planning is and how it can benefit them and their families. In this blog post, Lacey Lyons Rezanka, Attorneys At Law, will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about estate planning. We’ll provide information on what estate planning is, why it’s essential, and the available types of estate plans. If you have any other questions after reading this post, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

What is estate planning?

Estate planning is creating a plan for what will happen to your assets after you pass away. This process includes deciding who will receive your assets, how they will receive them, and when they will receive them. It may involve a range of professionals, including your lawyer, accountant, financial planner, life insurance advisor, banker, and broker. You may also involve tax planning in the process.

Why is estate planning important?

Estate planning is crucial because it allows you to control what will happen to your assets after passing. Without a plan, your assets will be distributed according to the laws of your state, which may not be what you want.

How much does estate planning cost?

The cost of estate planning varies depending on the complexity of your estate and the type of professional help you seek. However, even a simple estate plan can be pretty expensive if you do not shop around for the right professionals.

What is a will?

A will is a document outlining how you would like your assets to be distributed after passing. You can name specific individuals or organizations to receive your assets and appoint a guardian for any minor children.

Do I need a will?

If you have any assets that you want to go to specific people after your death, then you need a will. Without a will, the laws of your state will determine who gets your assets.

Do I need an attorney to write my will?

You are not required to have an attorney write your will, but it is generally a good idea. Attorneys can help you ensure that your will is valid and accomplishes your goals. If anyone, be they an attorney or not, writes or executes your will poorly, it may not be admitted to probate. That is why hiring an experienced legal professional to help draft your will is so important.

What is probate?

Probate is the legal process of estate administration. After you pass on, your estate will go through probate if you have any assets that you do not jointly own or that do not have a named beneficiary. The probate court will oversee the distribution of your estate according to your will (if you have one) or state law (if you don’t have a will).

How do I avoid probate?

There are a few ways to avoid probate. You can create a living trust, an estate planning tool that can hold assets on your behalf during your lifetime and distribute them according to your instructions after you pass away. You can also name beneficiaries on your assets, such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts. If you have joint ownership of assets with someone else, those assets will typically pass to the surviving owner without going through probate.

What is a Trust? 

A trust is a legal document that someone creates while they are alive that goes into effect upon their death. If you own Florida real estate, a trust can be utilized to avoid Probate.

What is a Creditor Claim Period? 

The creditor claim period is the amount of time from the publication of the notice to creditors that creditors have to make claims against the decedent’s estate. The creditor claim period is 90 days from the date of publication or 30 days from specific notice (formal notice).

What is the role of a personal representative in probate?

If you pass away without a will, the court will appoint a personal representative to administer your estate. If you have a will, you can name a personal representative in your will. The personal representative is responsible for gathering your assets, paying your debts and expenses, and distributing your assets according to your instructions (if you have a will) or state law (if you don’t have a will).

How do estate taxes factor in?

Federal estate taxes may apply if the value of your estate is more than the estate tax exclusion amount, which is currently $5 million. However, the state of Florida does not impose an estate tax, a tax paid by the estate, or an inheritance tax.

Have more questions about estate planning? Contact Lacey Lyons Rezanka, Attorneys At Law

At Lacey Lyons Rezanka, Attorneys At Law, we have three primary principles: trust, excellence, and professional ethics. We have years of experience in multiple fields of expertise and always aim for best practices and technology. This rigor is with one goal: to provide excellent results for our clients. Come partner with the trustworthy and reliable experts at Lacey Lyons Rezanka, Attorneys At Law.