It is the goal of The Eaton Family Law Firm to assist you with preparing your estate plan to protect you, your family, and your assets. It is also our goal to assist your loved ones as they probate your estate. It is very important that each person has a personalized and tailored estate plan in place right now. You never know when something could happen and you do not want to leave your loved ones to deal with a costly, complicated, and lengthy probate process because you did not have the estate planning documents in place to ensure your wishes are carried out after your passing or incapacitation.
If you are ready to begin creating an estate plan or you simply have questions about the process, please contact The Eaton Family Law Firm at 561-420-8500 to schedule a free consultation with a West Palm Beach probate lawyer.
Estate Planning is More Than Just a Will
A thorough and comprehensive estate plan is much more than just executing a will. An estate plan may include numerous documents such as powers of attorneys, healthcare directives, trust agreements, and living wills. The goal is to ensure that your wishes regarding your property, finances, and medical care are followed. It is also the goal to ensure that your heirs do not have a difficult, costly, and time-consuming process of probating your estate.
Failing to have a will or the proper estate planning documents can result in your heirs paying expensive fees and costs to probate your estate. It can also tie up assets that your heirs need to provide for their needs after you are gone. Florida intestate laws decide what happens to your property, who inherits your property, and the percentage of property each heir receives if you die without a will. Dying without an estate plan may result in some heirs receiving nothing while other heirs receive much more than you desire. Therefore, if you do not want the government making those decisions for you, you must take steps now to put your wishes into writing.
In addition, a complete estate plan includes provisions for the event you become incapacitated. You can appoint someone to make medical decisions for you, and you can choose what life-prolonging treatments you wish to receive or want to decline. You can also designate a person to make financial decisions and manage your property if you are no longer able to do so for yourself.
In some situations, it may be necessary to have a guardian appointed for an adult or a minor. A common situation is when a parent dies with a minor child. If the parent has named a guardian in his or her will, the child can remain with that person. However, if no guardian is named in the will or the parent dies without a will, the court will determine who will raise the child. Another common situation is when an adult has a mental or physical condition that renders them unable to make personal or financial decisions for themselves.
To appoint a guardian, you must file a motion with the probate court. If the person or proposed “ward” is an adult, the adult must voluntarily petition for a person to be appointed as guardian. If another party petitions the court, that person has the burden of proof to establish that the subject of the motion is incapable of making sound financial or physical decisions for himself for herself.
Call for a Free Consultation
Probate matters and guardianships can be complex. You need an attorney who understands Florida probate law. Contact The Eaton Family Law Firm at 561-420-8500 (24/7) to schedule an appointment with a West Palm Beach probate attorney. We represent clients throughout Palm Beach County.
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