Estate Plan Lawyer St. Petersburg
Telling clients that not having an estate plan in place could result in significant consequences is not just a tactic that lawyers use to scare clients into hiring them. Over the course of her career, Denyse D. Kruse has repeatedly seen costs, stress, and lawsuits that could have been avoided if people had a well-designed estate plan. This is why you should start now, no matter how far out you think you are from needing it. The truth is that you never quite know when your estate plan will help you. Estate planning is not just about money, and it is not just about what will happen to your money after you die. It is also about specifying your wishes clearly, so that when other people have to make decisions on your behalf, the people who make those decisions are the people whom you trust the most. It is important to plan carefully enough so that you do not put your family members in situations where they have to guess what you would have wanted and where compromises are impossible. Estate planning is also about giving yourself the gift of peace of mind.
Necessary Parts of Your Estate Plan
An estate plan is about far more than a will. Of course, a will is a large part of things, but an estate plan could also include the following:
- Healthcare Surrogate Designation
- Living Will Declaration
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Beneficiary designations
- Your wishes for your minor children
- Enhanced Life Estate Deeds or other deeds
- Revocable Trust
- Your wishes regarding your pets
Why You Should Begin an Estate Plan Early
Denyse D. Kruse recommends that families start working on an estate plan early. Here are some reasons why you should always have an estate plan in place:
- Avoid costly and cumbersome Guardianship
- Ensure that your intended beneficiaries are the ones who receive your property at your death
- Provide peace of mind that the most capable fiduciaries will handle matters appropriately
- Reduce conflict among family members
- Avoid unintended tax consequences
- Ensure documents are executed in conformity with Florida law
- Preserve homestead protection which can be easily destroyed by including certain language in a Will
- Ensure you will be allowed to die with dignity and not be kept alive artificially when there is no reasonable medical probability of your recovery
- Ensure loved ones can speak to medical professionals and make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to communicate
- Avoid Probate
Once you have an estate plan in place, it is only the beginning of the process. Things change in life. People’s situations could evolve in life, and circumstances evolve. Therefore, you should periodically review your estate plan and make changes as necessary. Estate plans can become outdated over time.
Sitting down with an attorney could help sharpen your focus on your goals. Then, an estate planning lawyer would explain the legal options available to you to accomplish those goals.
Once you have your estate plan, it is critical to get things right. Any errors in drafting a key document could mean that it is ineffective when you need it. This is why a DIY estate plan could be counterproductive. It is better to obtain the expertise of an experienced attorney than to leave things to chance.
How Your Estate Planning Lawyer Will Help
You could count on an estate planning attorney to do the following:
- Talk to you to ask you questions about your goals
- Review the possible options that fit your situation
- Draft documents and assist with the proper execution of those documents
- Be available when your life changes and you need their help
- Assist you in dealing with disputes with creditors, beneficiaries, or other family members
Getting started on an estate plan is not easy. The process can be confusing, and many people hesitate when it comes to dealing with their own mortality. However, you should not let that stop you.
Contact an Estate Plan Lawyer in St. Petersburg FL
Contact Kruse Law to learn more about how to begin your estate plan or adjust the one that you already have. Call us at (727) 256-4860 or contact us online to begin the conversation and learn how we can help you.