We would like to thank you for visiting Attorney Barbara M. Pizzolato’s website. If you are a resident of Cape Coral, FL, you probably made your way to our site because you are looking for a local estate planning attorney. Our firm has been assisting families in and around Cape Coral for years, and we can provide you with the guidance that you need as you craft a meaningful legacy plan for the benefit of your loved ones.
What Do You Know About Transferring Assets?
The facilitation of asset transfers that will take place after you pass away is at the core of the estate planning process. You could assume that a last will is probably going to be the simplest and most efficient solution for you, but in fact, a trust can be preferable under many different circumstances.
First, there is the matter of estate taxes. People who are in possession of a considerable store of wealth can be exposed to the federal estate tax and its 40 percent maximum rate. There are a lot of wealthy people in the Cape Coral, FL area, so this can be a concern for locals. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to ease the burden if your estate is going to be subject to taxation.
People who are not concerned about the estate tax can benefit from the creation of a revocable living trust. With this type of trust, you can act as the trustee and the beneficiary initially, and you can dissolve the trust entirely if you ever choose to do so. You retain complete control while you are living.
After you pass away, a successor trustee that you name would be empowered to distribute assets to the beneficiaries. If you work with our firm to create the trust properly, there would be spendthrift protections, and you could allow for measured, ongoing distributions over an extended period of time.
These distributions would not be subject to the legal process of probate. A will would be admitted to probate, and this is a long, drawn out, and potentially expensive process.
There are other types of trusts that can be used to satisfy specific estate planning objectives. You have choices to make, and you can make them in an informed manner if you retain our services.
Cape Coral Residents Should Be Thinking About Incapacity Planning
You may go through a period of incapacity late in your life. A comprehensive, holistic estate plan will address this contingency.
If you do not plan ahead for the possibility of incapacity, the state could be petitioned to appoint a guardian to manage your affairs. The court may select someone that you would never have chosen.
You can take the matter into your own hands when you create an incapacity plan.
With a durable financial power of attorney, you name an agent or attorney-in-fact who will be empowered to handle your financial affairs in the event of your incapacitation. You could also include a health care proxy or durable power of attorney for health care. With this document, you name someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you become unable to make them for yourself due to incapacitation.
Once you have your durable powers of attorney in place, there will be no need for a guardianship proceeding.
Your incapacity plan should also include a living will. Would you want to be kept alive indefinitely through the utilization of artificial means if you were in a terminal condition? You can answer this question when you create your living will.
Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Florida Estate Planning Attorney
We are here to help if you are ready to put an estate plan in place. To schedule a consultation, call us at 239-225-7911 or send us a message.