Why Estate Planning is the Perfect New Year’s Resolution for 2022

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    Why Estate Planning is the Perfect New Year's Resolution for 2022

    Why Estate Planning is the Perfect New Year’s Resolution for 2022

    • St. Petersburg Estate Planning and Probate Attorney has over six decades of experience helping people secure their legacy. We have a proven track record of success for our clients. Our law firm has been around for a long time because we get great results and don’t take advantage of people. 
    • Our lawyers have achieved a 10.0 AVVO rating, the highest possible score, this signifies our attorneys’ substantial experience and successful track record. This rating considers various factors, including years of practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements, and peer endorsements. Attorneys with a history of winning complex, high-stakes cases are more likely to achieve this rating, which serves as a benchmark of excellence and reliability in the legal profession.
    • Many of our  lawyers have been selected to be on the Florida Super Lawyers 2024 list. Super Lawyers is an exclusive list that honors less than 5 percent of attorneys in the entire state of Florida. Super Lawyers is a research-driven and peer-conducted rating system that is part of Thomson Reuters. Only the most outstanding lawyers with substantial professional achievement are chosen by their peers to represent Super Lawyers. With their patented multiphase selection process, this honor reinforces our lawyers’ high standings both with the clients we work with and the legal community as a whole.
    • Our firm has been recognized as ‘Best Law Firm’ and ‘Best Estate Law’ by the Tampa Bay Times’ Best of the Best People’s Choice Award. Our firm has been the recipient of the Tampa Bay Times’ Best of the Best People’s Choice Award consecutively over the last five years. This award is a community voting based contest that chooses the best businesses, companies and services in Tampa Bay. Every year, the Tampa community members cast over 135,000 votes to choose the top businesses in the area. We are honored to have our efforts in Estate Planning law be recognized by the people of Tampa Bay.

    St. Petersburg Estate Planning and Probate Attorney stands out due to our commitment to client success and our extensive expertise in estate planning law. Our attorneys have consistently secured favorable outcomes for clients, earning reputations for diligence, compassion, and legal acumen. Simply put, they are the toughest around, but also fair.  Our firm is dedicated to providing personalized service, ensuring that each client receives the attention and support they deserve throughout their legal journey. You can count on our Estate Planning and Probate Attorney to have your back.

    Speaking to a Florida estate planning attorney is one of the most impactful things you can do to start your year off with security and reassurance.

    Although estate planning may seem overwhelming to many people, it’s actually achievable for everyone – whether you’re a young couple or a senior with a large estate.

    Let’s take a look at why estate planning is a great way to start your year:

    Start Now to Prevent Problems and Stress

    Planning in any aspect of life prevents problems, stress and mistakes. That is especially true in Estate Planning.

    Estate planning allows you to arrange what happens to your assets, money, pets and loved ones if you die or become incapacitated.

    Without estate plans in place, the future of your estate will be decided by the courts – not your vision.

    That can lead to severe stress in the family, huge legal fees and lengthy probate that nobody wants.

    For example, we’ve seen expected deaths and due to having no plans in place, their families are still tackling probate cases three years later.

    By taking action at the start of 2022, you can get everything in order – so you can relax knowing your loved ones are protected.

    Retain Control, After Your Death

    Estate planning gives us all the chance to have an impact after our deaths. For example, by creating a Last Will and Testament, you can ensure your vision is followed to share your estate.

    Everyone is advised to create a will, but especially those with kids or grandchildren.

    Without a valid will, the courts will decide what happens to your estate, so there is a guarantee on who will get what.

    Decide What Happens in Accident

    In the nightmare scenario that you’re incapacitated due to an accident or illness, your estate plans will decide what happens next.

    For example, would you want to be resuscitated? What about your life support views? And who should be in control of your assets and finances?

    Estate planning allows you to plan for these disasters, so your wealth and views are protected.

    Protecting Your Children

    Children are usually the primary motivation for starting estate planning – especially if they’re minors.

    Your plans can determine and protect your children if you pass away. A trust, for example, can allow your children to gain access to funds at milestones in their life.

    Estate planning will also allow you to put in place guardianship plans. If you were to die tomorrow, do you have plans in writing that would ensure your children are cared for by someone you trust?

    Without plans, children can be left unsure of their future in extremely difficult circumstances.

    Although this isn’t a topic most people like to think of, it can quickly be addressed through estate planning – protecting your children in all scenarios.

    Feel free to contact our Florida estate planning attorneys for expert advice.

    Protect Your Pets

    Many people are unaware that their pets can be planned for too. Pet trusts can allow you to put plans and funds in place so your pet is cared for after your death.

    In a pet trust, funds are put in place for the pet only. You can pre-select someone to look after the pet and the trust, but that pot of money will be for your pet and pet only.

    This can ensure your cute doggo, for example, has guaranteed financial support for all aspects of their life – from grooming and food to veterinary care and travel.

    Did you know? Over 5 million pets go to animal shelters every year following the death of their owners.

    Update Your Existing Estate Plans

    Older adults tend to make a will and forget about it. But as the years go by, your documents might be outdated. New births in the family, marriages or divorces can all affect your plans and are likely to change your thinking.

    You may also have acquired new assets since last time. This is your chance to replan and fix outdated documents.

    Plus, perhaps now is a time to reconsider things? For example, have you considered the benefits of a trust?

    By speaking with a Florida estate planning attorney, you can receive expert advice to update your plans and protect your wealth.

    Asset Protection

    Florida asset protection can protect your wealth from hungry creditors.

    It’s never too late to start, so why not begin in 2022?

    By structuring your assets in certain ways, you can legally make it difficult for creditors to collect on assets.

    In today’s world, anyone with assets to their name can take advantage of asset protection so they don’t lose decades’ worth of hard work.

    Although asset protection is complicated, it can be completed without stress or delay with the help of a Florida estate planning attorney.

    Avoid Probate

    Probate is a pain for all surviving family members. It can be lengthy, stressful, expensive and result in family tensions that have a lasting impact.

    Thankfully, through estate planning, you can do things to avoid probate entirely.

    For example, a revocable living trust assigns assets to a trust rather than an individual – bypassing probate entirely.

    These types of trusts can be changed at any time.

    By speaking to a Florida estate planning attorney, you can gain expert advice on what type of trust is right for you and your family.

    Select a Power of Attorney

    Did you know you can give someone the ‘power of attorney’, to sign important documents, take care of financial transactions, handle legal matters and much more?

    By doing so, you can protect yourself, your assets, finances and loved ones if things go wrong, if you’re incapacitated, deceased or out of the country.

    This can be especially beneficial for seniors who just want peace of mind, by entrusting someone to take care of complex, tedious financial and legal matters.

    Alternatively, if you already have a POA, then now may be the time to reconsider your selection.

    It’s Time to Fund Your Trusts

    Many people set up trusts but often forget to do much else. You can have an incredible life insurance trust but it won’t mean much if you never transfer your life insurance to the trust.

    If you have a revocable trust set up but haven’t gone through the work of transferring assets, then now is the time! With the help of a Florida estate planning attorney, this can be done smoothly and without complications.

    It’s Time to Administer Your Estate Correctly

    Many people also hide their documents away, forgetting about the required formalities.

    This is your chance to ensure all your estate planning documents are signed by the appropriate people, with the correct distributions, income tax results and many other legal requirements.

    Without these steps, your plans could mean nothing and be voided.

    Contact a Florida Estate Planning Attorney

    If you’re looking to start or amend your estate plans in 2022, you can contact our Florida estate planning attorneys.

    Our team has every area of estate planning covered and can provide legal expertise to help you protect your wealth and loved ones.

    Free Consultations

    Battaglia, Ross, Dicus & McQuaid, P.A. is U.S. News and World Reports Tier 1 law firm in Florida, specializing in Estate Planning & Probate since 1958. With award-winning experienced attorneys, they can help you in all areas of Florida estate planning law.

    Schedule a free consultation today to get started or to get any questions answered.

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