Orlando and Central Florida
Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer Real Estate - Business Planning - Estate Planning - Securities
At the Orlando law firm of Pierce & Associates, P.L., we help people develop, draft, review, and update their estate plans. This includes wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and living wills for people at every level of income.
Florida Law: What is a Will?
A last will and testament is an official document in which you specify how your possessions will be distributed after your death. Wills direct the distribution of finances, holdings, and sentimental items to families, friends, and charities, and can even determine who gets the family pet.
In the State of Florida, to create a will, you must:
- Be of sound mind
- Sign the will in the presence of two witnesses
- Be at least 18 years old
A will also keeps your property or estate from being distributed via probate, that is, by the courts.
Florida Law: What is a Revocable Trust?
This is an agreement you create to manage the things you own, and to determine how those things will be distributed after your death. With a Trust, someone else (called a Trustee) manages your estate while you are still living. It’s called “revocable” because you can cancel the arrangement during your lifetime if you’re still of sound mind.
Though someone else manages your estate, you can withdraw money from bank accounts and utilize assets whenever you want. If you’re incapacitated by an accident or sickness, your trustee is continues to manage everything for you, keep the bills paid, and make investments on your behalf.
A trust is not the same thing as a will. If you’re not sure which one you need, or you would like further information, please consult Pierce & Associates at 407-982-7228 today. We are here to answer your questions!
Florida Law: What is a Power of Attorney?
Power of Attorney is a document that gives someone the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. When you give someone Power of Attorney, you can grant them the authority to make decisions in one specific area (such as giving permission for medical personnel to administer a certain treatment), or several areas:
- Decisions involving money or gifts
- Official consent for healthcare professionals to treat or withhold treatment
- Guardianship over your estate or possessions
A Power of Attorney document should be clear and official, as Power of Attorney documents are sometimes called into question and can be later voided or terminated.
Florida Law: What is a Living Will?
In the event you are medically incapacitated and it is determined that you are terminal, are at the end stage of a disease, or are in a permanent vegetative state, a Living Will tells healthcare professionals whether you want to receive life-prolonging procedures or treatments. Many living wills include a DNR, or Do Not Resuscitate order, which indicates that a patient should be made comfortable but allowed to die naturally.
A Living Will can also designate a surrogate, someone you wish to make medical decisions on your behalf in this kind of situation.
Protect Your Family with John G. Pierce, Florida Wills and Trusts Attorney
At Pierce & Associates, we take the time to fully ascertain your estate planning needs and explain the benefits and limitations of the various options. You will leave your appointment feeling secure that, should something happen to you, your assets will pass to your heirs according to your wishes with minimal tax or probate impact.
Not everyone has the same needs when it comes to estate planning. Some need to care for an incapacitated individual, a minor child, or they would like for their estate to pass on to grandchildren, nieces or nephews, or perhaps a church, nonprofit organization, or other charity. Regardless of your desires, we will help put together the right combination of wills and trusts to fulfill and enforce your wishes.
We develop and draft all kinds of wills and trusts, including special needs trusts, charitable trusts, and pour-over wills as part of your comprehensive estate plan. We also recommend having your estate plan, including will or trust documents, reviewed periodically to ensure all documents are optimized for changes in your assets or your family situation.
To discuss your options or review/revise your current will, trust, Power of Attorney, or living will with an experienced Florida lawyer, please schedule a consultation with John Pierce by calling 407-982-7228 or filling out our intake form on our Contact page.