OUR PRACTICE AREAS
Probate, Wills, Trusts, and More
Many people have a limited understanding with regard to how wills, trusts, probate, and other matters pertaining to estate planning and estate administration can affect their lives. At The Law Office of Paul S. Labiner, P.A. in Boca Raton, FL, we believe that having the correct information is essential in making intelligent decisions. That is why we make it a point to help clients make sense of the estate planning process, consider their goals, delicately address difficult or unpleasant questions, and end a consultation feeling confident in the plans we draft. We are also adept resolving legal matters concerning probate and trust administration. Read on to gain a better understanding of probate, living will, durable power of attorney, guardianship, and more legal terms.
These are relationships created at the direction of an individual, in which one or more persons hold the one’s property subject to certain duties to use and protect it for the benefit of others. Individuals may control the distribution of their property during their lives or after their deaths through the use of a trust. There are many types of trusts and many purposes for their creation. A trust may be created for the financial benefit of the person creating the trust, a surviving spouse or minor children, or for a charitable purpose. Many people place assets into a trust as a way to bypass probate and avoid costly estate taxes. Although a trust can be administered privately outside the courtroom, the trustee must still accurately distribute the funds, according to the terms of the trust. Our attorneys can work closely with the trustee, providing necessary guidance to ensure the trust’s terms are correctly fulfilled. If you have recently lost a loved one and need help with probate and trust administration, allow us to handle your legal matters while you focus on your family.
This is the process of preparing surviving family members for the financial and economic challenges that may arise when a loved one passes on. A good estate plan can actually bring great peace of mind but with no plan in place, your loved ones could face serious financial difficulties down the road. Our estate planning attorneys will work with you to create an individualized plan that meets your financial goals and secures your family’s future. By helping you create a will or trust, we will convey your wishes on how your assets should be handled after you’re gone and also keep your estate out of probate while protecting your children’s inheritance from divorces, lawsuits, and creditors.
In most cases, probate occurs when an individual dies intestate (without a will). If there is no will or other legal estate plan in place, the courts will step in and distribute the estate in a manner it deems appropriate. For the loved ones of the deceased, probate proceedings can be extremely contentious, drawn-out, and expensive. By working to plan your estate with an attorney, you can take the necessary steps to avoid probate, spare your family a great deal of stress, and ensure your assets and property are protected and distributed according to your wishes.
This incorporates strategies for guarding one’s wealth. This type of proactive planning is intended to protect one’s assets from the claims of creditors. Wealth Preservation Advisors, LLC specializes in asset protection techniques to limit creditors’ access to certain valuable assets, while operating within the bounds of debtor-creditor law. The utilization of our proven strategies can successfully shield your wealth without engaging in the illegal practices of concealment (hiding of the assets), contempt, fraudulent transfer, tax evasion, or bankruptcy fraud. In addition, Wealth Preservation Advisors helps our clients protect their hard-earned assets from other lawyers, malpractice claims, foreclosure deficiencies, former or current spouses, children, relatives, and greedy lawsuit-obsessed citizens. While many people can make money, few know how to protect it. You must think and act defensively to protect your wealth in today’s dangerously predatory and lawsuit crazy world.
In simple terms, a will is the document you sign to provide for the orderly disposition of assets after your death. Wills have no legal authority until the individual who created the document dies and the original will is delivered to the probate court. Having a will does not mean probate is automatically avoided. However, it’s important to have a valid will to protect minor children by naming a guardian. There are numerous other benefits to having a valid and up-to-date will that we are more than happy to review with you during a free initial consultation.
A living will (or an advance medical directive) allows you to specify your wishes regarding what types of medical life support measures you prefer to have (or have withheld/withdrawn if you are in a terminal condition). If you were severely injured and disabled in an accident, you may be unable to voice your preferences — a living will can act as your voice. In many cases, a living will is supplemented by a durable power of attorney.
Granting durable power of attorney will allow someone you trust to make your personal health care and financial decisions when you are incapacitated. These documents can help avoid guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. In simple terms, a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding is the process by which a judge will determine who should make decisions on behalf of an incapacitated individual.
If you die without a will (intestate), the state has already determined who will inherit your assets and when they will inherit them. This is an all too common scenario for those who wait until it is too late to draft an estate plan. The problem with leaving no legal documents specifying your wishes is that your family will be left to sort through the estate with little or no direction and your assets and property may be divided in a manner that you would not have authorized. Many of these issues can be avoided by taking action now.
Guardianship is needed for various reasons. Perhaps an adult is unable to manage their own affairs and needs either a family guardian or a professional guardian? Did a minor child receive a settlement or an inheritance? Have you received custody of a minor child because the biological parents are unavailable, either because of death or some other legal reason? Has your disabled child reached the age of majority but is still unable to handle their own affairs because of their mental disability? Or maybe your loved one has reached that point in their life where they are no longer able to make sound decisions for themselves and need help to manage their own affairs, protect them from exploitation or to make necessary medical decisions?
We can handle every facet of your guardianship needs. Our extensive experience in all types of guardianships includes instances where a family member is appointed as guardian or where a professional guardian is needed. We are sensitive to your particular needs in regards to your loved ones who are in need of a guardianship and will help you understand what a guardianship entails and what you can expect.
Schedule a Legal Consultation Today
When gathering information about probate and estate planning, it’s important to consult lawyers with experience and specific knowledge of the practice and various proceedings. Here at The Law Office of Paul S. Labiner, P.A., we bring to the table more than 3 decades of experience in the industry. We have helped countless individuals and families in the past, and we are confident that we can assist you, too! To get started, give us call or send us a message. Our legal team also offers asset protection.