Wills

Every estate plan should include a Will.  The most basic function of a Will is to dispose of an individual's probate property at death.  In addition, a Will may appoint a guardian for the decedent's minor children, appoint a personal representative, designate recipients of family heirlooms, and determine which beneficiaries will bear the burden of transfer taxes.  Consequently, even estate plans for individuals with few assets or little probate property should include a Will.


Trusts

A trust is an extremely flexible instrument that can be used for a wide variety of purposes.  Some trusts are created during lifetime and some are created upon death. Some can be changed and others are irrevocable. A few of the circumstances where trusts are warranted include tax planning, avoiding probate, and holding and managing assets for minor children. 


Probate

The probate process is a court supervised process through which a decedent's assets are collected, debts of the decedent are paid, and the remaining property is distributed according to the terms of the Will or the provisions of Florida's intestacy statute. Our knowledgeable and compassionate probate attorneys are experienced with Florida law and can help you through the probate process from start to finish.

Asset Protection

Whether your occupation or your circumstances set you at risk of creditors or claims, everyone should consider asset protection. We live in a litigious society where anyone can, and will, sue. Asset protection planning might be as simple as making sure you have appropriate insurance coverage. Others need more sophisticated planning involving irrevocable trusts (both domestic and foreign situs), limited liability business entities and the proper titling of assets to take advantage of statutorily exempt assets.

Tax Planning

A significant goal for many individuals seeking estate planning advice is the minimization of both income taxes and transfer taxes. Through the use of various gifting techniques, the optimal use of exemptions, and valuation discounts we can literally save individuals millions of dollars in taxes. 

Marital Law

Although we do not handle Family Law matters, we assist in many ways that are intertwined with your marital status. We frequently draft prenuptial agreements that are designed to simplify financial matters in the event of a divorce or death. We consult with family law attorneys to minimize taxes on the transfer of assets between divorcing spouses. Often we need to prepare trusts for minor children.  We also handle planning for single parents and assist in providing methods for insuring that support obligations are met. 

International Law

Florida is truly a melting pot of different cultures. We assist U.S. citizens and foreign residents and nonresidents with their legal needs. The tax system applicable to nonresident aliens is entirely different than that imposed on U.S. citizens. In addition, international estate planning requires specialized knowledge to avoid probate locally, to manage assets worldwide, and to coordinate with laws applicable here and abroad to foreign assets. Often treaties are involved that need to be analyzed and incorporated into an individual's estate plan.