St. Petersburg Wills & Trusts Attorney
What Is a Will?
A typical disposition of a moderately sized estate can be handled with a will. Even a person with a small estate can benefit greatly from having a will because it makes clear what your wishes are and allows for a means of honoring them.
You can designate your:
- Personal representative, which is the person who carries out your wishes once you have passed away
- Guardians for minor children if neither you nor the child’s parent survives
- Trustees for assets passing to minor children.
What Is a Trust?
There are many types of trusts. Revocable or irrevocable living trusts may be something you wish to consider if you desire privacy, own property in multiple states, or hope to avoid probate altogether.
Certain trusts may be useful in saving federal estate taxes (inheritance taxes). These trusts are often used in a married couple scenario, allowing the shelter of a large estate from federal estate taxes. Failure to use them can leave families paying large amounts of taxes unnecessarily.
The special needs trust is a useful device when you have a desire to leave money for the benefit of a person with a disability without interfering with their government benefits such as Medicaid. A knowledgeable elder law attorney can help preserve the client’s qualification for Medicaid or other forms of public assistance.
Difference Between Wills & Trusts
The main difference between a will and a trust is when they become effective. A will goes into effect after you pass away, but a trust is valid once created.
A will maps out who will receive your property and appoints a person to carry out your wishes. You will be able to name a guardian for children and specify preferred funeral arrangements.
A trust can begin to distribute property before one passes. It will not pass through probate after you pass which can save time and money.
Do You Need an Attorney to Set Up a Will or Trust?
You do not need an attorney to create a will or a trust, but many people do choose to work with one to ensure that everything is set up correctly. If your estate is simple and you don't have children, it might be something you can do on your own. If you have significant assets that you want to protect, children to ensure are protected when you leave, or any other complexity, you should put your case in the hands of a reliable attorney.
What Does a Trust Attorney Do?
A trust and will attorney is a professional who can help you set up the needed paperwork to plan your estate. A trust lawyer will set it up on your behalf and provide the relevant legal assistance that you need to ensure that you properly name the trustee in charge of your estate.
Can You Have Both A Will and A Living Trust?
Yes, it is possible to have both a will and a living trust in Florida. These are two separate estate planning documents that serve different purposes. Having both a will and a living trust can provide a comprehensive estate planning strategy. The will can address any assets that are not included in the living trust or that were inadvertently left out. It can also serve as abackup plan to distribute assets that were not properly transferred to the trust during your lifetime.
However, it is essential to ensure that the terms of your will and living trust are coordinated and do not contradict each other. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney in Florida at HKH Elder Law can help you create a comprehensive plan that includes both a will and a living trust, ensuring that your wishes are properly documented and your assets are protected.
Call Our Will & Trust Lawyers in St. Petersburg
Contact HKH Elder Law today to talk to an experienced St. Petersburg trusts & wills attorney that can help you decide whether a will or trust is the best option for you.
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If you have more questions about wills and trusts, call our wills and trusts lawyers in St. Petersburg at (727) 240-2350.
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