Will Lawyer & Estate Planning Attorney Boynton Beach, Florida
Serving Boynton Beach and the surrounding communities, including Hypoluxo, Gulfstream Cove, Delray Beach, Lantana, Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Palm Springs, and throughout Florida.
All adults who have loved ones should have a comprehensive will and estate plan. This is true not only for senior citizens, but also for adults who have minor children, special needs children or disabled adult children.
If you do not have an estate plan or need help updating your existing estate plan due to changing circumstances or objectives, we invite you to contact The Karp Law Firm to learn how we can help. As Boynton Beach will lawyers and estate planning attorneys with decades of experience, we help clients develop comprehensive, cost-effective estate plans.
We represent most estate planning clients on a fixed-fee basis, and we accept credit card payments.
What Is the Purpose of Estate Planning?
A comprehensive and pragmatic estate plan involves several critical objectives, including:
- Protecting assets during life;
- Protecting an individual in the event they become incapacitated and are unable to make their wishes known;
- Prearranging healthcare decisions or appointing a representative to make critical healthcare decisions; and
- Providing for the tax-advantaged distribution of estate assets upon death, which can include distributing assets over time through a trust.
At The Karp Law Firm, we can work with you to develop a plan with a solid strategy in place in the event of disability and which can address your wishes regarding the final distribution of your estate. We invite you to contact us today to learn more about protecting your interests and your family.
What Documents Are Included in A Comprehensive Florida Estate Plan?
There is no one-size-fits-all estate plan, as every person’s needs and objectives are different. Custom estate plans, however, are typically comprised of some (or all) of the following: a last will and testament, trusts, healthcare power of attorney, advance directives, and property power of attorney. As Boynton Beach estate planning lawyers, we help clients in developing the estate plan that is right for them.
Protecting Assets and Families During Life
- Powers of Attorney. Powers of Attorney can be vital if a person becomes severely injured or otherwise incapacitated and cannot make decisions on their own, such as if they suffer a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. Without a valid Power of Attorney, it is typically necessary to petition the court for guardianship and/or conservatorship in order for a loved one to be able to make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person. If public court oversight is required, there can be substantial costs involved, all of which can usually be avoided through the use of a Power of Attorney.
With a Power of Attorney in place, an appointed “Attorney-In-Fact” (the person given the power to make decisions for an incapacitated individual) can make financial, lifestyle, and other decisions in accordance with the powers set forth in the document should such an incapacitating event occur. A Durable Power of Attorney for Property authorizes someone to manage financial affairs and make financial decisions. A Health Care Power of Attorney (also known as a Health Care Surrogate) authorizes someone to make medical decisions for someone who is not capable of making his/her own decisions.
- Living Will. A living will is a type of advance directive that sets forth a person’s wishes about the type of healthcare that should be administered should they become incapacitated and unable to communicate their wishes. For example, an individual may desire reasonable life-saving measures to be taken should their health decline. Alternatively, a person may forgo life-prolonging efforts and opt for palliative care. Advance directives can be highly beneficial, as they can prevent loved ones from having to agonize over making gut-wrenching care decisions.
- Special Needs Trust. Special needs trusts are frequently used by parents to provide financial support for special needs children who will likely need significant care for the remainder of their lives. It is critical to construct a special needs trust carefully to avoid negatively impacting current and future government benefit eligibility (such as Medicaid or Social Security Disability).
Protecting Loved Ones After Death
- Last Will and Testament. A will is an instrument by which assets of an individual (known as a testator) are distributed after death. A will does not, however, control the distribution of some types of assets, including assets held in trust, life insurance proceeds, pay-on-death accounts, transfer-on-death accounts, and accounts that are jointly owned with right of survivorship.
- Trusts. A trust is an agreement that an individual (known as a trustor) makes that can benefit a family during life and provide for loved ones after death. A trust is considered a separate legal entity, and the terms of a trust agreement dictate what happens to the trust assets after a trustor dies.
Trusts can be revocable (meaning that the creator of the trust can change trust terms and control of the assets) or irrevocable. Trusts are often used for testamentary estate planning and to avoid probate.
Let Our Experienced Boynton Beach Estate Planning Lawyers Create an Effective Will and Estate Plan that is Right for You and Your Family
Once we know the nature of your estate and your objectives, our experienced Boynton Beach will and trust attorneys can suggest and create an estate plan that will be best for you and your family.
Please call our office to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about your options for safeguarding assets, providing for loved ones, and ensuring your wishes are followed after your death.
 Florida Trust Code, The Florida State Legislature, http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0736/0736ContentsIndex.html.