Do you need to make a will? Most Americans don’t think so. They think wills are only for people with millions of dollars in assets.
The truth is that if you have anyone financially dependent on you, you need to look into making a will. If you do not, then the state of Florida will distribute your assets according to its guidelines – which may not match your wishes or the needs of your family.
You need a Broward-Palm Beach-Dade TriCounty FL estate planning lawyer. You may also need a financial planner – but a lawyer who focuses on estate planning can often either find you a financial planner or provide that part of things themselves. Choose a lawyer who is familiar with the tax and probate laws in Florida – do not choose a lawyer from elsewhere and if you move states consider having your will reworked to match the local situation.
A good lawyer will not present you with a pre-written estate plan but will talk to you about your goals, and design a plan that fits your desires and is appropriate to the amount of money and assets involved. If your estate will be subject to tax, a good estate planner will help work on ways of reducing the tax burden to your family. This might involve the creation of trusts – which a good lawyer with advanced tax knowledge can handle easily. You should also consider making a living will or advance directive, especially if you have family members with conflicting strong feelings on the matter.
Even if your estate is too small to involve tax issues, though, you should still make a will – and it is good to get advice on the correct way to word things to ensure that your family gets everything they need and which you want to pass down.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisement.