Stay In Charge Of Your Assets

Do you know what will happen to your estate when you die? You may have a rough idea of how you would like your assets to be distributed, but unless you have your wishes written down in a formalized legal document, it's likely that these matters will be left to the discretion of a court. This is where an experienced elder law attorney can help. At Phillips & Finley LLC in Florida, we provide probate and estate planning services to help you settle the affairs of a person who has passed on or a road map for later distribution in the case of a person who is still alive.

What Happens In Probate?

Probate is the legal process by which the estate of the deceased will be fully accounted for and settled by distributing assets and paying creditors. Probate is a process that happens whether or not the deceased made a will. A person designated by the deceased in a will is the one who will make sure that the will gets carried out. If there is no will, a court will designate this person. While certain aspects of a will may be contested by heirs or others during the probate process, in general, courts will follow the instructions given in a will, unless there is a legal reason not to do so. There are, however, certain fees associated with probate that some people choose to avoid by establishing trusts and other elements of an estate plan.

How Would An Estate Plan Help Me?

If you are interested in avoiding the costs and potential complications of having your estate go through the probate process, attorney Kobi A. Finley can help you set up some strategic estate planning tools to make sure your wishes are carried out in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible. For example, there are ways you can transfer property and other assets ahead of time so as to avoid certain taxes and fees that would otherwise have to be paid in the probate process. It's not just personal property and real estate that can be transferred in this way, but also bank accounts, insurance policies and stocks.

Guardianship Services

If your loved one has been deemed incapacitated or was born with a developmental disability and has no advance directives in place, such as a power of attorney (POA) or health care surrogate (HCS), attorney Finley can help you navigate the legal process of establishing a guardianship or guardian advocacy as well.

Start Planning Today

It can give you peace of mind to know that you have all your documents in place, either for yourself or in case your spouse becomes ill. Having a plan in place also makes it easier to make tweaks and adjust clauses as necessary to add children or grandchildren or make allowances for divorce or other changes. To speak with a DeLand elder law lawyer about your wishes for your estate, call Phillips & Finley LLC at 386-734-5959 or email us for more information.