Estate Planning

Jacksonville Estate Planning

jacksonville estate planning attorney

Florida Estate Planning and Florida Asset Protection is a primary focus of our Jacksonville based law firm Our Estate Planning Law firm is designed to help you understand and achieve your estate planning needs and desires. Our Jacksonville based lawyers create estate planning documents that are designed to achieve results.

We believe that estate planning is not solely about documents, but about results! Too often estate planning is equated with wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney and other legal documents. While it is true that documents are necessary to achieve a client's estate planning goals, the estate planning process consists of much more than just the routine preparation of documents. The estate planning process involves: setting and defining goals; becoming familiar with the legal terms, tools and basic estate tax rules; gathering the necessary information; and finally designing, drafting, and implementing a customized estate plan that achieves individually tailored results.

In determining your individual estate planning goals we are actually create documents that define a set of detailed instructions for your family, friends, and trusted associates to follow. Many estate plans are created for the sole purpose of avoiding probate.  While this is sometimes reason enough to justify the creation of an estate plan there are far more important issues to deal with in the documents.  Once of these is preparing and planning for incapacity or death.  One of the last things we want to do is create a situation where our family and ultimate beneficiaries can take care of us in the event we need someone to do so.  Many plans create problems and conflicts between our children.  It is important to understand the family dynamics and design systems that work in our family dynamics.  The instructions in the plan should strengthen trust and relationships between your family members and not create conflicts.

If a client is to be comfortable with any estate plan there should be a high level of understanding. Therefore, we believe that an important step in the estate planning process is to help the client become familiar with the terms, tools, and tax laws involved. This involves explaining fairly sophisticated estate planning concepts in a manner that is easy to understand. We often use drawings and flowcharts to help explain these concepts. Usually these drawings are included in the client's Estate Planning Portfolio.

In order to properly proceed with the estate planning process, the client must gather the necessary information on who will be involved in the various aspects of the plan as well as financial information to determine what are the needs of the family. One of the first steps is to request and complete an Estate Planning Intake form.  This document should be completed prior to the initial meeting.
Once we determine the family and financial dynamics, we design, draft, and implement the actual estate plan.  Today any lawyer can pull forms our of a form book and draft a generic estate plan.  Often these documents are passed off as a customized estate plan.  Each part of your estate plan should be designed with your individual needs in mind.  We often work with your financial advisers, insurance representatives, and CPAs to understand your specific needs and objectives.  Our Florida Estate Plans are drafted to your specific needs.

Many firms stop when the documents are drafted and signed, but if not properly implemented they will not achieve the desired results. It is important to make sure that property be titled properly and beneficiaries must be properly designated on life insurance, retirement plans and other items transferred at death by way of beneficiary designations . We believe that this is an essential step that should not be left solely up to the client.

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Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog - Estate Planning