Correctly planning your death and incapacity is typically not the top of most people’s to-do lists. Most of us live our lives hoping that we will not die in the near future. But we know that death is inevitable and we also know that this is important to plan for. Certainly, good planning will provide you with the peace of mind you need knowing that you and your loved ones are correctly provided for.
Even with the knowledge of our mortality, estate planning is easy to put off. People procrastinate because they do not know how all of their assets work together, who to hire in helping create their estate plan, or where to go when they are making their decisions. To help in the decision-making process, we must first define estate planning, which is generally:
- I want to retain control of my property for myself (and my spouse);
- I want to give what I have, to the persons that I love, when I want, in the way that I want;
- I want to protect my assets if I need nursing home care, and I want to save as much as possible for my family from taxes; and
- All without unnecessary cost or delay.
We want to help you create the best estate plan possible. Whether you have a large or a small estate, you should be sure that your wishes are followed upon your death and that you and your assets are protected in the event of your incapacity.
A Clear Process to Help You
Choosing an attorney to assist with your estate planning is not an easy task. We want to make sure you know how we work to make sure you are comfortable, you have made the best decisions for yourself, and your wishes are accomplished.
When you call or e-mail us, we will schedule an appointment for our initial meeting. We will mail or e-mail you a questionnaire to bring to our meeting along with copies of your existing estate planning documents. Your questionnaire provides a brief picture of your family, your goals and your assets. In our free, initial meeting we follow our easy and efficient estate planning process to make sure you are protected and your wishes are followed.
Protect Your Children From Your In-Laws!
Part of our process will look at making sure your children's inheritance cannot be taken from an angry in-law in a divorce. See our our Personal Asset Trust can protect your children from in-laws, creditors and even Medicaid spend down. This trust system is one of the ways we are unique among local law firms.
Wills v. Trusts
Most everyone that comes into our office wants to avoid probate upon their death. In our meeting, if you so desire, we will discuss probate, living trusts and other ways to make sure your estate planning goals are accomplished as efficiently as possible. Planning with a last will and testament may be good for some while others may want to create a revocable living trust.
Guarantee: Our Estate Planning Process Will Be Easy
One of our goals is to make estate planning easy to understand. After our initial consultation, many people remark that we explained things to them in simple terms that they understood. Part of what makes things easy is our estate planning process. Our estate planning process will make you feel comfortable in making the right decisions for you and your family. To make an estate plan that works for you, our process is as follows:
In our initial meeting we will discuss you, your goals and your assets. We will review probate, probate avoidance, wills, revocable living trusts and incapacity planning. We help you decide what the estate plan that will be best for you and your loved ones. You may want to create an estate plan that avoids probate, such as creating a revocable living trust. You may also want to keep things more simple at this point by creating a last will and testament. Either way, we will discuss your incapacity planning, such creating a durable power of attorney, designation of healthcare surrogate and living will.
In this meeting, we will quote you a fixed fee for your estate plan choosing among a number of different options. In order to proceed with your plan, we will need a retainer for one-half of the quoted fee. If you are not ready to proceed from our initial meeting, we can always schedule a second meeting to make sure you are comfortable with your decisions.
Friendly, Efficient and Knowledgeable
The reality is that not all attorneys are created equally. Some attorneys do not keep up with the law, some attorneys practice in many different areas of the law besides estate planning, and some attorneys are just document preparers, not bringing the entire estate plan together. Our goal is to not just create a good estate plan for you but to make sure it actually works.
We pride ourselves in making sure you understand all of your options, how probate, estate taxes, creditors, long-term care and more can affect your planning. We also want to make things as easy for you as possible. Many of our clients leave our meetings telling us that we made things so much easier and understandable for them. Check out attorney D. “Rep” DeLoach III’s happy clients on his AVVO page.
Knowledge in Elder Law and Estate Planning
One great advantage to working with us is our additional knowledge in elder law. We know that many people spend time in long-term care before they die, which frequently results in paying vast sums of money to the nursing home. Our estate planning will prepare you for changes that may come with downturns in health so that your assets can be protected for you and your family. Not all estate planning attorneys are familiar with irrevocable trust planning, VA benefits planning or Medicaid asset protection planning, but we are!
Download our Free Guides to Estate Planning in Florida
We want our estate planning clients to make the best decisions based upon their own situation and wishes. To assist you, we are pleased to offer you a free copy of attorney D. “Rep” DeLoach III’s books:
The Top 20 Ways to Protect Your Florida Estate. (coming soon)
Don’t Go Broke in the Nursing Home: Your Florida Survival Guide (coming soon)
Free Report: Why Most Florida Estate Plans Fail!
Other Important Florida Estate Planning Terms
We believe in education our clients. In addition to our books, we offer a library of information at this link. Information such as the following will assist you in making the best decisions possible:
- Living trusts. You don’t have to be very wealthy to create a trust. Trusts can benefit many people in a variety of situations. They can help avoid probate, protect your heirs and save them time and money. Our firm can help with many types of trusts, including:
- Wills. Wills are more than just simply filling in a document. While using a DIY form from the internet may seem like a good idea, the typically small cost of hiring an attorney can pay off in the long run by ensuring your will is comprehensive and effective with respect to Florida law.
- Incapacity planning. Incapacity planning allows you to make decisions about your life, finances, and medical care now that can be followed later if you are unable to make those decisions. You can dictate now what kind of medical treatments you’d like to receive and a person you trust to make decisions that can’t be foreseen. You can also choose someone to make financial decisions on your behalf for the choices that your estate plan cannot cover.
- Enhanced Life Estate Deeds. Not every estate plan needs a revocable living trust. Simple estate plan may be able to avoid probate with this special type of deed.
While many estate plans try to avoid probate in the first place, it is our belief that probate is not always terrible in certain situations. Here, we offer extensive probate services to complement our estate planning department.
The lawyers at DeLoach, Hofstra & Cavonis, P.A. have been protecting the interests and ensuring the legacies of Floridians for over 40 years. Let us help you find the peace of mind you need with an effective, comprehensive estate plan. Call us today to learn more about your estate options and how to proceed.