WILLS – A Will is the instrument with which you direct the handling of your affairs and your property, upon your death. To be effective in Florida, a Will must be signed before 2 witnesses. A will is not an effective instrument until death and can be changed by the preparer at any time. It goes without saying that everyone should have a Will. No matter what your current situation, whether you think you have planned for every situation possible, or you think you own little of value, make a Will. The one thing in this life that is certain is death, the one thing that is constant is change. If you have a child, you absolutely need a Will. If you don’t have a Will or your Will is out of date, which is probably the case, call my office. Wills are usually not expensive and the initial consultation, is of course, as always, without cost. You will learn something of value, and you will be dealing with things of importance to you and your loved ones.
LIVING WILL – A living will is a simple document which allows you to maintain control over how you are treated by health care providers, should you find yourself one day in their care and be unable to speak on your own behalf as to how you wish to be treated. No one should be without a Living Will.
TRUSTS - A trust is a contract between a Settlor (someone who has property) and a Trustee (someone who will administer that property) for a beneficiary (someone who will receive the benefit of that property). In some trusts, they are all the same person. A is in many ways like a will, because it can direct what happens to property you put in trust, upon your death; and in that respect it is often used instead of a Will to avoid the probate process (as trust property passes not to your estate but to the named beneficiary; and the trustee can sign the title transfer document). But trusts can do much more than that. There are different kinds of trusts and they have different rules and different purposes. Wills often contain trusts which control how property is distributed to minors or persons who may not be responsible enough to handle property or money. Some trusts can shield property from the reach of creditors, if handled properly. Some trusts can act as vehicles for the owners of property who wish to remain unidentified.
Remember that a trust can only administer property that is properly conveyed to the trust. Writing and signing a document alone, changes nothing. Furthermore, trusts can have tax consequences as they can be entities separate and apart from the creator of the trust and taxed differently.
If you think a trust could benefit you, call my office, set up an appointment and lets talk about it. Create the right type of trust and set it up properly, so that its existence is recognized when you need it to be.
PROPER ESTATE PLANNING – Planning for the future and protecting yourself and your loved ones should something happen to you –death, disability or other is critical to obtaining your goals in life - to be successful is to build something that endures, that will be there for your children. You work hard to build something, but without proper planning, what you build, should you one day not be there to look over and protect it, can crash and burn. Don’t let that happen. Plan for the bad as well as the good, both in your business and in your personal life. LLC’s; Subchapter S, buy-sell agreements, voting trust agreements, Land Trusts, Family Partnerships; Wills, trusts, living wills, powers of appointment, life insurance contracts, annuities and other instruments are tools used to properly plan for the future eventualities.
Michael H. Hirsch, P.A.
Attorney At Law - Serving the People of Florida since 1989
Micheal H Hirsch P.A. Attorney At Law
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