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Estate Planning FAQs

Never Worry About Your Life and Legacy with Expert Estate Planning

Generally, estate planning can be an expensive venture. But the service you receive by utilizing the expertise of an estate planning attorney near you – like the experienced lawyers at Berlin Patten Ebling – can spare you from numerous costs and unanswered questions down the road. There are a number of ways to save on estate planning costs, and an experienced estate planning attorney near you in Sarasota can assist in finding the perfect solution for your needs.  

A step in cutting estate planning costs is to conduct some of the initial work yourself, like learning the basics of estate planning online or from reading resourceful books. An estate planning attorney near you can then work to create a plan tailored to your specific situation and goals.  

Another tactic for saving on estate costs is to utilize a do-it-yourself estate planning kit found online or at a local office supply store. These kits cover the basics, such as a will, power of attorney and healthcare directive.  

However, we strongly recommend exploring the capabilities of an experienced law firm and estate planning attorney near you that can offer an array of options – some of which you likely didn’t know existed.  

The general practice of estate planning is the process of organizing your finances and property in anticipation of death. Of course, this isn’t an easy subject to discuss – and something no family desires to envision. However, planning for the future alleviates any doubt about how you’ll be remembered and how your legacy will live on. Estate planning attorneys near you, like the knowledgeable experts at Berlin Patten Ebling, can handle an array of angles involving this practice area.  

An estate planning attorney near you, whether you live in Sarasota, Tampa or anywhere along the the Gulf Coast, can help create a plan that ensures your wishes are carried out and that the loved ones you leave behind are taken care of following any situation. Estate planning, as we know, can become a complex process dependent on a number of factors unique with every family. While this can be expensive, an estate planning attorney near you is undoubtedly the best person to lead you toward an astounding return on investment and peace of mind for years to come.  

At Berlin Patten Ebling, many clients inquire about the best estate planning options for their legacy and family’s future. And, in some cases, we’re asked to compare wills and trusts which serve different purposes. However, as expert estate planning attorneys near you, we recognize that both are extremely useful.  

A will is a legal document that outlines how you would like your assets to be distributed after your death. A trust is a legal arrangement in which someone holds property on behalf of another person. If you’re interested in delving into detail about wills and trusts, our estate planning attorneys near you recommend visiting the estate planning page on our website. There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to create either plan – and some clients select both. 

The best way to decide what best fits your needs is to consult with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney near you, like our team at Berlin Patten Ebling.  

If you’re considering an estate plan in Florida, you’re likely wondering the costs associated with a roadmap that preserves your legacy. The simple answer is yes – estate planning can become expensive, but that depends on a number of factors like the size and complexity of your estate.  

Of course, after your death, costs rise significantly if you didn’t utilize the guidance of an estate planning attorney or don’t have a plan in place. Your family will likely be tied up in Florida’s probate legal process if assets are left behind, spending both valuable time and money to resolve these matters.  

To get an accurate estimate of what your estate planning will cost, we highly recommend consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney to receive an accurate estimate. As a general rule of thumb, costs can range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.  

The creation of a roadmap for how your assets will be distributed after your death is at the very center of the estate planning process. This includes who will receive your assets – and how they’re received. Aspects of this process also include decisions on who will manage your finances and make medical choices on your behalf.  

The first step is contacting an estate planning attorney that can both serve as a resource and guide on this journey.  

Our estate planning attorneys in Tampa and beyond believe a will is an integral part of your estate planning process. The question isn’t estate planning vs. wills since these documents play a necessary role in your personalized plan. However, there are a few key disadvantages to rely on a will alone. Here’s why we always suggest protecting yourself and your family to the highest extent.  

 

It can be very expensive to probate a will – especially if your estate is large or complex. A will can also be contested by disgruntled family members or creditors, which can tie up your assets for months or even years. This document also doesn’t offer protection against estate taxes, which can eat up a significant portion of what’s left for your family if you’re not careful.  

The world of estate planning can be quite complex. That’s why we, as experienced estate planning attorneys in Tampa and across the Gulf Coast, want to provide you with the entire picture of what your plan can become. Your peace of mind – and minimizing the risk of financial penalties – is paramount to us.  

The estate planning process involves creating a will, naming beneficiaries for your accounts and designating someone to manage your affairs in the event you become incapacitated. Our estate planning attorneys always recommend drawing out what you’d like to consider including in this plan to preserve your legacy in the best way possible.  

There are four key estate planning documents that everyone should have in place: a will, trust, power of attorney and healthcare directive. A will is a legally binding document that dictates how your assets will be distributed after you die. Power of attorney grants a person the legal authority to make financial and medical decisions on your behalf. Healthcare directives, in particular, outline your wishes for medical treatment if you can’t communicate that for yourself.  

A simple estate planning worksheet, like what’s discussed below, can help you start the process of creating a plan prior to consulting with an attorney.

A simple estate planning worksheet is a step-by-step guide that can help you create a comprehensive estate plan. These documents also include your specific goals and objectives, especially after death. At Berlin Patten Ebling, we always recommend ample preparation, in the event you cannot advocate for yourself or wish to get your affairs in order. Our estate planning attorneys know it’s extremely important to have an estate plan in place that ensures your wishes are followed.  

This process can start with a simple estate planning worksheet. Simple estate planning worksheets ask specific questions about your assets, debts, family and final wishes.  

Whatever approach you decide to take, our estate planning attorneys stress the importance of having a clear and concise plan in place. To create an accurate plan, there are a few key points to consider. This includes determining what assets you have and how those need to be distributed. Consider any debts or liabilities – even tax implications – you may have currently as well.  

Estate planning services aren’t just reserved for the phenomenally wealthy – take it from us at Berlin Patten Ebling. And, when we guide you through this process of tailoring a unique estate plan, our estate planning attorneys recommend considering four key points for truly achieving what you desire out of the assets and important documents you possess.  

First, it’s best practice to establish your goals. A list of your assets, debts and tax implications is imperative as well. Next, you’ll need to determine who will manage your affairs if you’re ever incapacitated and, lastly, pinpoint the people who will inherit assets after your death. Utilizing an estate planning checklist, which breaks down what you need to consider when creating a plan, is a smart way to begin this process.  

This process is anything but a generic journey. Our estate planning attorneys will walk you through what’s best for your situation every step of the way.  

Estate planning, in general, is the process of ensuring your assets and property are distributed according to your wishes in the event of your death. Creating a will or trust, naming beneficiaries and making additional arrangements for your estate are imperative. 

A last will and testament, while an antiquated term, is a key piece of your overall plan. This is the most recent and precise version of your will – a record of the decisions you’ve made for your family. Determining the exact intent of your will, prior to your death, can be accomplished with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney like those readily available at Berlin Patten Ebling. We also recommend using an estate planning checklist to initially determine what documents, assets and investments need to be included.  

Family estate planning considers the unique needs of your family, including any minor children. These documents can help to ensure that your children are taken care of financially and that your property is distributed according to your wishes, detailed during the family estate planning process. 

Many considerations are at play when starting your family estate planning process. Of course, one of the main areas to think about is how you’d like your estate to look. At Berlin Patten Ebling, our estate planning attorneys know this can be a difficult decision but, ultimately, will settle any disputes that may arise years down the road.  

You’ll need to consider assets like cars, homes, various real estate you may own, checking and savings accounts, life insurance policies and more. An experienced estate planning attorney, like our many legal experts at Berlin Patten Ebling, specialize in helping you navigate the multitude of options available, including wills and trusts, for preserving your legacy. A tailored experience is what we strive to provide to clients – and we’re always ready to offer you the soundest guidance for every situation.  

The estate planning process, on the surface, is quite simple. At Berlin Patten Ebling, we define this as creating arrangements for the management and distribution of your property and assets in the event of your death or incapacity. Our law firm handles estate plans for individuals, in addition to family estate planning, and a myriad of other legal avenues because we realize every situation is unique.  

An estate planning attorney – especially on our team at Berlin Patten Ebling – evaluates your assets, goals and more to eliminate future uncertainly for you and your family. Not only do we provide you with our expertise in family estate planning but make you aware of the pros and cons of each estate plannin option in order to equip you with the full picture of what’s legally available.  

At Berlin Patten Ebling, we take a customized approach to estate planning services because we realize every person’s family and situation is unique. There are a few foundational documents that everyone should have – including a living will.  

Living wills are written statements that detail a person’s desires regarding their medical treatment when they’re no longer able to express consent. It’s a measure made well in advance of incapacitation, and vital for you to establish when utilizing estate planning services.  

Generally speaking, estate planning is the process of organizing your financial affairs and making arrangements for the management of your property whether you’re incapacitated or face death. Our estate planning attorneys have decades of experience helping clients navigate what they should include with any plan, regardless of how complex the overall estate can be. The goal with our estate planning services is to help achieve yours – and deliver peace of mind.  

Estate plans can be as simple as a will or a complex arrangement in the form of trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare advance directives, long term care planning and more. At Berlin Patten Ebling, our estate planning attorneys handle a variety of requests – and guide our clients in selecting the right estate planning services for their unique circumstances. Our suite of estate planning services even includes plans for business successions, estate and gift taxes, a multitude of trusts and much more.  

The entire process involves organizing your affairs in order to protect your assets and loved ones in the event of your untimely death or incapacity. Regardless of your financial situation, planning is imperative. While you can start this journey on your own, we highly recommend consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney to help you navigate this path from start to finish.  

Estate plans are important for everyone, regardless of the amount of money or property you possess. At Berlin Patten Ebling, estate planning attorneys in Sarasota, Tampa and across the Gulf Coast work diligently to create these vital documents for clients each and every day.  

Estate planning costs can, in fact, become expensive. However, these estate planning costs pale in comparison to the difficult process your family will endure when settling your affairs after you die. It’s a financially and emotionally devastating path for your loved ones to navigate. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced estate planning attorney in Sarasota – or anywhere along the Gulf Coast – that you trust assist in developing a tailored plan that preserves your legacy.  

Actual estate planning costs vary, depending on the complexity or your situation and the type of documents needed. Expect to possibly pay several thousands of dollars, but our attorneys in Sarasota, Tampa and beyond believe the peace of mind and protection of your family far outweighs any estate planning costs.  

Our estate planning attorneys in Tampa and beyond believe a will is an integral part of your estate planning process. The question isn’t estate planning vs. wills since these documents play a necessary role in your personalized plan. However, there are a few key disadvantages to rely on a will alone. Here’s why we always suggest protecting yourself and your family to the highest extent.  

It can be very expensive to probate a will – especially if your estate is large or complex. A will can also be contested by disgruntled family members or creditors, which can tie up your assets for months or even years. This document also doesn’t offer protection against estate taxes, which can eat up a significant portion of what’s left for your family if you’re not careful.  

The world of estate planning can be quite complex. That’s why we, as experienced estate planning attorneys in Tampa and across the Gulf Coast, want to provide you with the entire picture of what your plan can become. Your peace of mind – and minimizing the risk of financial penalties – is paramount to us.  

While estate planning trusts, in some cases, do have obvious disadvantages, there are significant perks to drafting a custom-tailored plan for your family. At Berlin Patten Ebling, our experienced estate planning attorneys note that these documents can help you avoid probate, save on taxes and protect your assets from creditors. A trust can also assist you in managing your estate in the event you become incapacitated.  

Of course, the goal of our estate planning attorneys is to set you up with an estate plan that stands the test of time. There are many differing avenues you can take to preserve your legacy. We’re committed to creating a plan for you that not only protects your family but remains current as law inevitably change.  

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