Palm Coast Trust Attorneys
People spend their lives making plans for the future ─ saving money for college, vacations, and retirement. So when it comes to end-of-life decisions, it makes sense that you would make a plan for your legacy.
At Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant, our knowledgeable and compassionate Palm Coast trust attorneys have more than 40 years of experience working with families to develop practical estate plans that protect assets and clarify final wishes. Trust and estate planning gives families control over the lives they have built for themselves, instead of leaving crucial health care and financial decisions in the hands of the court.
When you meet with our skilled legal team, we will:
- Review a variety of scenarios that you should consider in preparing your will and setting up trusts
- Ensure your will is clear and legally sound
- Properly set up and fund the trusts you need to protect your assets
- Define your wishes in case you become incapacitated
- Protect your family from the fighting and stress that ambiguity can cause
We understand that you have spent your entire life working hard for what you have, and we want to make sure you and your family are legally prepared when the time comes. Contact us now to schedule a consultation with our seasoned and compassionate Palm Coast trust attorneys, and learn how we can help you stay in control of your future.
What Is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?
When deciding how you want to plan for the future, it is important to understand the difference between a will and a trust, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of both. As an overview:
- Wills and advance directives define your overall wishes ─ for health care, guardianship, durable power of attorney, beneficiaries, certain assets, and funeral arrangements.
- Trusts protect your assets ─ to financially plan for long-term care and help your loved ones avoid a stressful and time-consuming probate process.
Our experienced Palm Coast trust attorneys will discuss with you how both of these tools can work in concert with each other. No matter what your age, health, or financial situation, we suggest that you start the process of creating a will and setting up appropriate trusts as soon possible. Estate planning is always easier when your family is not coping with a crisis.
Schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable attorneys today to learn more.
What You Need to Know About Creating a Will
Wills can be as simple or as complex as you need them to be. However, it is extremely important that you properly document your wishes because your will has to be legally valid in order to hold up in probate court.If you do not have a valid will, Florida law will determine how your assets should be distributed through “intestate succession.” In these unfortunate cases, the probate court identifies assets and heirs, with no regard for your wishes. The court also makes the decision on who should be the guardian for your children.
In addition to creating a traditional will, our attorneys can work with you to outline your wishes for what should happen in case you become incapacitated. This will include:
Creating a health care surrogate designation, which details your health care wishes in case you are not able to communicate them and names a health care surrogate to carry out your wishes
Developing a living will, which includes instructions regarding end-of-life care
Designating durable powers of attorney, which includes naming financial power of attorney to manage your finances
In the tragic event that you become incapacitated without having these plans in place, the court will step in to make these decisions for you and your family. Unfortunately, in cases where a person’s wishes are not clear, families can be torn apart as they cope with the guilt, anger, and pressure of making these decisions on behalf of their loved one.
When you create a will without the help of an attorney, you run the risk of it not being valid. For example, Florida generally does not recognize oral (or nuncupative) wills, deathbed wills, or handwritten (or holographic) wills. In addition, DIY wills can prove problematic when people don’t completely understand the scope of what they should cover and important details are overlooked.
Don’t leave your legacy to chance. Schedule a consultation with our skilled Florida wills and trusts attorneys today to discuss creating or updating your will.
What You Need to Know About Establishing Trusts
Establishing and properly funding a trust (or trusts) is a crucial part of estate planning. Assets that are owned by a trust are not subject to the probate process, which makes for a much smoother and less stressful transition to your beneficiaries.
Depending on your circumstances, there are many types of trusts that might be right for you. Our knowledgeable Palm Coast trust attorneys will discuss your financial situation in detail, as well as your goals, to help you establish an estate plan that meets your needs.
Some of the options you may consider are:
Start Your Estate Planning with Our Palm Coast Trust Attorneys Now
At Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant, we know that making end-of-life decisions can be a difficult process. However, we believe that proper estate planning should make you feel more in control of your life and prepared to care for your family.
As you get ready for an initial consultation with our attorneys, we urge you to:
- Create a list of your immediate family members’ names, addresses, and dates of birth.
- Note the names and addresses of any former spouses.
- Write down your assets, along with their estimated values.
- Collect documentation on any life insurance policies you have.
- Note your business and investment interests.
- Talk about who should be guardians of you children, trustees, personal representatives of your will, and hold durable powers of attorney.
- Outline your health care wishes in case you become incapacitated.
This information will serve as a launching point to develop a trust and estate plan that fits your goals for the future. Throughout the process, our detail-oriented attorneys will work hard to put your mind at ease and ensure your family is taken care of when the time comes.
Our firm is proud to serve families throughout Flagler and Volusia counties, and our attorneys frequently travel to meet with clients in Palm Coast, DeLand, and surrounding cities. Call or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation today.