Linda Solash-Reed, P.L., is committed to helping Florida individuals and families plan for their future. We understand that each family is unique and that estate planning is more than a set of instructions that tells the government who your property should go to after your death. Our Estate planning is the process is designed to understand your unique situation and goals and create a plan to pass your wealth, wisdom and values to your loved ones in the most efficient way possible.
By working with our firm you can be confident that your estate plan will be current, take advantage of the latest planning opportunities, and address your goals using an approach that makes sense to you and a strategy that you can be confident in.
Through experience, we have developed a process that takes the time to understand your unique goals and concerns, the unique dynamics of your family, and your goals for your family’s future. Once we listen and understand your goals, a typically estate plan includes a Revocable Living Trust, Pour Over Will, Power of Attorney and Advanced Healthcare Directive to document our clients’ wishes.
Whether you are looking to create your estate plan for the first time or to update your existing plan, we can help you create your comprehensive and personalized estate plan, providing you peace of mind that your wishes will be followed. Contact us today to begin planning for your future.
Click on the toggles below to learn more about various types of estate planning documents.
A will is a document whereby an individual expresses their wishes and desires concerning the disposition of their property (assets) after death. With a few limitations, a person can give property to whomever they want and for whatever purpose they desire upon their death.
Often a will is used to designate the guardian of a decedent’s minor children in the event that there is no other surviving biological or adoptive parent of the child.
No will becomes final until the death of the testator, and it may be changed or added to by the testator by drawing a new will or by a “codicil,” which is simply an addition or amendment executed with the same legal formalities of a will. A will’s terms cannot be changed by writing something in or crossing something out after the will is executed. In fact, under Florida law, writing on the will after its execution may invalidate part of the will or all of it.
Revocable trusts are the most common type of trust involved in the estate planning process. All trusts involve three parties: the owner/creator, “Settlor”, the manager, “trustee” and the beneficiary. When an individual or couple use a trust as their basic estate planning tool, they typically fill all three roles.
A primary advantage of a living trust in Florida is that it avoids the probate court process. Generally, the assets managed by the trust can pass to the heirs or beneficiaries shortly after the death of a settlor.
The revocable trust typically provides that in the event of the grantor’s incapacity a successor trustee automatically takes over the administration of trust property. The incapacity provisions of a living trust permit the settlor and their family to avoid a public guardianship in the event that the settlor becomes unable to manage his trust property.
In addition to provisions for incapacity and avoidance of probate, revocable trusts have other estate planning benefits. For individuals with property located in multiple states, a revocable trust that owns all of the client’s real property avoids probate proceedings in each state where property is located. The administration of a client’s property is consolidated through the use of a single trust document.
Living trusts do not provide asset protection. In fact, a living trust provides no asset protection benefits in Florida and most other states
A power of attorney is a powerful document that gives another person the authority to stand in your shoes and do any legal act you could do for yourself. That person is called your “attorney-in-fact” or “agent.”
A “durable” power of attorney is one that remains effective when you are incapacitated. The primary purpose of a power of attorney is to have a back-up decision maker to help you (and your loved ones) should you become incapacitated, so a durable power of attorney is an important part of every adult’s estate plan.
The Florida Legislature has recognized that every competent adult has the fundamental right of self-determination regarding decisions pertaining to their own health, including the right to choose or refuse medical treatment or procedures which would only prolong the dying process when a terminal condition exists. To ensure that this right is not lost or diminished by virtue of later physical or mental incapacity, the Legislature has established a procedure within Florida Statutes § 765 allowing a person to plan for incapacity, and if desired, to designate another person to act on his or her behalf and make necessary medical decisions upon such incapacity.
- Living Will: A competent adult has the right to make a written declaration commonly known as a “Living Will.” The purpose of a Living Will is to direct the withholding or withdrawal of life prolonging procedures in the event one should have a terminal or end-stage condition or be in a persistent vegetative state.
Health Care Surrogate Designation: A competent adult may designate authority to a Health Care Surrogate to make all health care decisions during any period of incapacity. During the maker’s incapacity, the Health Care Surrogate has the duty to consult expeditiously with appropriate health care providers. The Surrogate also provides informed consent and makes only the health care decisions for the maker, which they believe the maker would have made under the circumstances if the maker were capable of making such decisions. If there is no indication of what the maker would have chosen, the Surrogate may consider the maker’s best interest in deciding on a course of treatment.
Other types of trusts that might be part of your estate plan are Special Needs Trusts (also known as Supplemental Needs Trusts), IRA Trusts and Medicaid Trusts.