Many people spend a large portion of their lives working hard not just to earn money, but more importantly to provide for their loved ones. So it is no surprise that they also want to do everything they can to make sure that their families are financially secure for years to come. In order to do so, it's important to guarantee that your assets are protected and that you have a clear plan as to where they will go at the end of your life.
Wills and trusts are invaluable estate planning tools that allow a person help map out a financial future for loved ones by deciding where he or she wants assets to go in the event of death or incapacitation. You do not need to be a multi-millionaire to take advantage of these legal options. Even the most basic estate plan can help a person manage financial affairs and distribute property according to his or her wishes.
The Florida estate planning lawyers at Cantwell & Goldman, P.A. have been representing clients in and around Brevard County since 1984. With a wide range of knowledge and experience in all aspects of estate planning, we provide high quality legal services and give clients piece of mind knowing that their assets are secure and will not be left in the hands of a court to administer.
Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person's assets are identified and gathered to be distributed among creditors and beneficiaries. If the person has a valid will, the assets will generally be distributed as directed in the will. If the deceased person does not have a valid will, the court will distribute the assets in accordance with state law.
Rather than relying on a court to handle your assets, it is a good idea to take the guesswork out of the process and hopefully avoid any legal wrangling following your death by clearly stating the people or entities to whom you want your money, property and other assets to be distributed. It is also important to regularly update the will in order to reflect life changes, such as divorce and births, as well as the acquisition of new property over time.
Trusts, meanwhile, are an often used method of protecting assets by transferring them to a trustee or administrator to be held for the benefit of a third party beneficiary, such as a friend or family member. A trust can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the person creating it and can include a wide range of restrictions on how and when the trust property may be accessed.
If you are interested in creating or updating a will or establishing a trust, contact the Brevard County estate planning attorneys at Goldman & Cantwell, P.A. We are available to discuss your particular situation with you and explain how we may be able to assist in an initial consultation. Call our Cocoa office at 321-639-1320 or contact us online.