We would like to thank our neighbors in Fort Myers, FL for visiting our website. If you are looking for a licensed estate planning attorney in Southwest Florida, you have found a reliable local resource.
As we all know, this is one of the best places to live in the entire country. You have numerous world-class beaches, the climate is second to none, and there are countless fantastic restaurants, golf courses, and cultural centers. Fort Myers is a great place to retire, and it is home to many many people who are enjoying their golden years.
Serving Our Neighbors in Fort Myers, FL
Our attorney, Barbara Pizzolato, has a vast wealth of experience in litigation, estate planning, and business planning. She is now firmly embedded in the Fort Myers community, but she is also licensed to practice law in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York.
Because of her background, if you are a transplant to our area, you will feel absolutely comfortable if you decide to work with our firm. At the same time, even if you are a lifelong resident of Fort Myers, you will feel perfectly at ease, because we treat our clients the way that we would like to be treated.
Wills and Trusts in Florida
When you plan your estate, you have to choose an asset transfer vehicle. Many people assume that a last will is the only logical choice if you are not a multimillionaire. A will could suffice under very simple circumstances, but when you find out the facts, you may decide that a living trust would be a better choice.
You probably want to facilitate timely asset transfers to your loved ones. When a will is used to transfer personally held property, the executor cannot start to distribute inheritances right after the passing of the decedent.
Under state laws, the probate court must get involved. The will would be admitted to probate, and the court would provide supervision while the estate was being administered. This process can be costly, and it does not run its course overnight. A case that is not in any way complicated can take close to a year. The inheritors receive nothing during this interim, so the time lag is not very appealing.
On the other hand, when a living trust is used as an estate planning centerpiece, the trustee can distribute assets to the beneficiaries outside of probate. This is a major advantage, but there are others.
A living trust is a tool that can be useful for a wide range of people, but there are other types of trusts that can be used to satisfy more advanced objectives. High net worth individuals may be exposed to estate taxes, and there are wealth preservation trusts that can be used to ease the tax burden.
Estate planning for business owners can also present certain challenges. We have assisted countless Ft. Myers area business owners who have devised successful succession strategies.
Special needs planning is another consideration. If you were to leave a direct inheritance to a loved one with special needs who was relying on Medicaid, eligibility could be lost due to the improvement in financial status. A supplemental needs trust could be used to preserve government benefit eligibility.
These are a handful of the scenarios that can exist, but there are strategies that can be implemented to satisfy any estate planning objectives that you may have.
Incapacity Planning for Fort Myers Residents
Alzheimer’s disease is running rampant, and it is not the only cause of incapacity among elders. To address this, a well-constructed estate plan will also include an incapacity planning component.
You can use a durable power of attorney to give someone the power to handle your financial affairs in the event of your incapacitation. A living will can be added to record your preferences with regard to the use of life-sustaining measures.
Get in Touch with an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney
Local connections are very important to us. We have planted roots in the Fort Myers area as individuals, and we take our responsibility to our friends and neighbors here in the area to heart.
After we help you establish your initial estate plan, we will be at the ready to help you revise your plan if and when your life changes as the years pass. Plus, we can help guide your family through the estate administration process after your passing if you would like to provide a turnkey situation for your loved ones.
If you are ready to get the ball rolling, call us at 239-225-7911 or send us a message through our contact page to schedule a consultation.