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Estate Planning

Jacksonville Probate and Estate Planning Lawyers

Estate Planning

Estate planning is not just for the wealthy. It is for anyone who cares about protecting their spouse, children, parents, loved ones or themselves in the event of injury or death. A well-crafted estate plan not only includes a Will, but may also include a Trust, Living Will, Designation of Health Care Surrogate and Durable Power of Attorney. A decision whether or not you need a Trust should be made on an individual basis, after consultation with an attorney skilled in estate planning.

Before you make a Will, you should consult with an attorney experienced in estate planning so that he or she can discuss your situation and advise you as to what properties the Will controls and what properties will pass outside of probate either by joint ownership and/or a named beneficiary. There is much more to estate planning than simply doing a Will. You should know how your assets will pass on your death. Contrary to what most people think, many financial accounts will pass to a named beneficiary and not through your Will. During our consultation, I will discuss your bank accounts, investment accounts, life insurance policies and other financial accounts so that I can advise you as to whether or not they will pass down through your Will or to a named beneficiary or “payable on death” designee. I will also discuss the pros and cons of accounts with joint owners.

You should always review your Will and estate planning documents anytime a major life event such as divorce, death or birth occurs, but in any event at least every five years. Failure to keep your documents current could result in unnecessary probate or assets not being transferred to the person you have chosen.

I will listen to your needs and wishes and them provide the estate planning services that are tailored to your individual situation.