Estate planning goes far beyond the writing of wills and the eventual distribution of inheritances. For many Floridians, a comprehensive and well-considered plan has the potential to reduce their tax burden and protect assets against loss. While starting this process might seem a bit intimidating at first, an experienced estate planning lawyer in Sun City Center could help you build the foundation of your legacy.
What is an Estate Planning Attorney in Sun City Center?
Estate planning is a broad legal field. While every estate plan is different, most people use this proactive process as an opportunity to safeguard their personal interests in the event of incapacitation or death.
Estate planning attorneys work with their clients to provide novel solutions to individual and financial needs in compliance with state and federal law.
What Does an Estate Planning Attorney Do?
An estate planning attorney in Sun City Center provides a wide range of services, including writing wills and helping their clients establish different types of trusts. However, knowledgeable estate planning lawyers also provide many other tools that enable individuals to make conscious choices about aspects of care and current and future financial circumstances, such as:
- Outlining durable powers of attorney
- Reducing federal estate tax obligations
- Keeping your estate—and your heirs—out of probate
- Medicaid and Asset Protection Planning
How Much Does an Estate Planning Lawyer Cost?
Unlike attorneys who practice other types of law, our Sun City Center estate planning lawyer has a fee schedule with different rates for particular services, such as:
- Flat fee. This is a fixed charge, paid for the provision of a certain service. Estate planning attorneys may charge a flat fee for routine services, like writing a will, reviewing a guardianship arrangement, or establishing powers of attorney.
- Billable hours. Complicated cases that require additional research, time, or courtroom appearances may be charged on an hourly basis. Some lawyers may ask clients to pay a retainer or a pre-payment they can use to cover their costs while they assist you.
- Contingency fees. These are common in personal injury law but comparatively rare in estate planning.
How to Choose an Estate Planning Lawyer in Sun City Center
Estate planning attorneys have the same basic qualifications: they attended a four-year university, then graduated from law school, and passed the Florida bar examination. However, some lawyers focus on specific types of cases, such as will and guardianship plans, establishing various trusts, or probate litigation.
Before making a commitment, take the following steps to ensure that your estate planning attorney is right for you:
- Make a list of your needs. Research the various components of an estate plan and develop a list of key questions to ask during a consultation.
- Ask friends and family for references. Recommendations can be incredibly useful in searching for an attorney.
- Read reviews. Successful estate planning lawyers are grateful to receive testimonials from pleased clients.
What Documents are Needed for Estate Planning?
Every estate plan is different. Under most circumstances, simple estates—or estates below a certain financial threshold and unlikely to be contested in probate—require significantly less work than more complex estates.
Nevertheless, every Floridian should have, at minimum, the following estate planning documents:
If you plan to bequeath higher-value assets to an heir or heirs—such as an investment account or a real property—you may need to discuss alternate strategies to avoid probate, the time-consuming process of formally closing a Florida estate.
Contact Our Sun City Center Estate Planning Attorney for a Consult
Finding the right Sun City Center estate planning lawyer may seem challenging at first, but you need only schedule an initial consultation. This meeting gives you an opportunity to explain your situation, discuss specific needs, and ask about their strategies for securing your future.