ESTATE PLANNING

Estate Planning Attorney in Boca Raton

At Kocher Law Firm, we design individually tailored estate plans to carry our clients’ legacies into the next generation. An effective estate plan will help to reduce the time, expense, and stress involved in the event of the death or incapacity of a loved one. Contact Kocher Law Firm if you are searching for a trusted and knowledgeable attorney who will stand by your side in the years to come. Our trusted team is in-tune with the sensitive issues at stake in the estate planning process and will help to simplify this complex endeavor. Preparing an estate plan does not have to be a laborious process when you get in touch with us.

Careful Considerations For Estate Planning

At Kocher Law Firm, our team understands that the prospect of preparing an estate plan may seem like an unsurmountable task. This is understandable, considering the important decisions that must be made as a part of this process.

When preparing an estate plan, we provide our clients with simple solutions to difficult questions such as:
Who do I want to receive my assets when I pass?

  • Who will be in charge of handling my estate?
  • Who will be responsible for handling my finances and health care decisions in the event of my incapacity?
  • Who will care for my minor children? 

Many clients are unaware that Florida law will answer these questions for you if you do not put an estate plan in place. While your intent may be aligned with the law, this is not always the case, especially where there are second marriages, blended families, and complex assets (such as businesses) involved. A well- structured estate plan can help to make your intentions clear, while avoiding the need for a probate and/or guardianship and minimizing the impact of estate taxes and costly administration fees. 

Our team has extensive experience with preparing estate planning vehicles, such as: 

  • Last Wills and Testaments
  • Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial Agreements
  • Revocable  & Irrevocable  Trusts (such as  Dynasty Trusts, Special  Needs Trusts, Spousal Lifetime  Access Trusts, Irrevocable Life  Insurance Trusts, Charitable Trusts, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, and more)
  • Health  Care Directives(such  as Designations of Health  Care Surrogates, Living Wills, Pre-Need Guardian Appointments, HIPPA releases, and more)
  • Entity Documents (such as Operating Agreements, Shareholder Agreements, Partnership Agreements, Buy-Sell Agreements, and more)

Our team understands the sensitive issues involved in estate planning. For peace of mind, contact our office today for a complimentary estate planning consultation.

Do i need an estate plan?

No matter the size of your estate or family situation, every person should consider having an estate plan in place. Why is this?

To Ensure That Your Intentions Are Met:
A well-drafted estate plan is essential for establishing your intended beneficiaries and proper division of your estate. Without an estate plan, Florida law will provide for default beneficiaries, which may or may not be aligned with your intentions. This can be especially problematic where there are second marriages, blended families, family discord, or complex assets (such as an active business). Having an estate plan allows you to direct who will receive your assets, how such assets will be distributed (i.e. in further trust or outright) and who will oversee the administration of your estate after your death.

To Minimize the Need for Probate and Guardianship:
Although probate is not always a worst-case scenario, it can be a costly and time- consuming process. Probate administration is subject to court-oversight, which often means that the beneficiaries can expect delays in receiving distributions. Assets held in an individual’s name alone (and some types of jointly held assets) are subject to probate. Certain jointly held assets, assets with proper designations of beneficiaries, and assets held in trust are not subject to probate. Having a properly funded revocable trust and/or designations of beneficiaries in place can help to avoid probate.

Guardianship, like probate, is subject to court-oversight. Without the proper planning, if a person is deemed to be incapacitated by a court, a guardian will be appointed. The guardian is required to file documents and other financial reports with the court, which can become a burdensome process. The creation of a properly funded revocable trust, durable power of attorney, and designation of health care surrogate can help to minimize the need for a guardianship.

To Provide Asset Protection to Beneficiaries
While revocable trusts do not provide asset protection for the settlor (i.e. the person setting up the trust), the funds can be protected from the beneficiaries’ creditors if kept in further trust after the death of the settlor. Without this structure, the funds will be distributed to your adult beneficiaries outright and subject to the claims of their creditors. Further, where appropriate, irrevocable trusts can be used to provide asset protection for the settlor and beneficiaries.

 

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