Florida Wills, Trusts, and Estates Attorneys

Wills Trusts and Estates Attorneys Provide Counsel for a Wide Variety of Estate Planning Matters

No one wants to think about their own mortality or the possibility of incapacity. However, it’s crucial to take measures to ensure your wishes will be carried out in the future — or if the unexpected should occur. With a comprehensive estate plan, you can transfer property efficiently to your beneficiaries, reduce estate tax consequences, prevent family quarrels, and distribute your assets in accordance with your objectives.

Waugh PLLC wills trusts and estates attorneys assist clients with a wide range of estate planning matters. From drafting wills, creating trusts, drawing up powers of attorney, and strategizing for business succession, we are committed to developing an estate plan that provides you with peace of mind. Due to our deep insight and skillful approach, we have formed close relationships throughout the years with many of our clients and their families.

Comprehensive Counsel for Tailored Estate Plans

No two estates are alike, and every estate plan must be crafted to meet the needs of the individual and their family. When we begin the estate planning process, we will conduct an in-depth interview with you to address your concerns and learn about your specific goals. Our attorneys take the time to discuss your unique personal and financial circumstances in order to develop a customized estate plan that fully reflects your wishes.

Proper estate planning is complex. While a last will and testament is typically the foundation of every estate plan, there are many other tools that can be implemented, depending upon your situation. Critically, if you fail to have at least a valid will in place upon your passing, your property will be distributed in accordance with Florida’s intestate law — which might result in an outcome you had not intended.

At Waugh PLLC, our wills trusts and estates attorneys, are adept at utilizing a full range of estate planning vehicles to meet our clients’ requirements, including:

  • Wills — A last will and testament is a legal instrument that can outline your final wishes regarding which beneficiaries will receive your assets after your passing. It can also designate an executor for your estate and name a guardian for minor children.
  • Trusts — There are many different types of trusts recognized under Florida law that can be used to control your property and distribute your assets to your chosen beneficiaries. Trusts can be used to carry out various purposes, both before and after death.
  • Financial powers of attorney — A financial power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to choose an individual who will manage your money matters if you become incapacitated. It permits an agent to act in your place regarding financial issues and decisions.
  • Healthcare powers of attorney — A healthcare power of attorney gives another person the authority to make medical decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to do so.
  • Healthcare advance directives — An advance healthcare directive is an essential document that can convey information concerning your wishes for medical treatment if you cannot communicate them. Specifically, this document can allow you to outline your end-of-life healthcare preferences, including whether you wish to be resuscitated or intubated.
  • Beneficiary designations — By using beneficiary designations on bank accounts, retirement accounts, or life insurance policies, assets can be transferred directly to the individual of your choosing and avoid the probate process.

Additionally, if you are a business owner, our wills trusts and estates attorneys will take the necessary steps to provide continuity and value for your family members, shareholders, employees, and customers. We will work closely with you to establish your goals and implement an effective strategy.

The elements that are put into place today can have a profound impact on how wealth is retained and administered in the future. At Waugh PLLC, we understand that your estate plan is so much more than a collection of legal documents to you — it is the legacy you will be leaving to your loved ones. Applying our extensive knowledge, we address any challenges that could arise during the administration of your estate to ensure you have a solid plan in place that stands the test of time.

Protecting Your Assets and Preserving Your Wealth With Trusts

Trusts are some of the most strategic and flexible estate planning tools available. In addition to distributing your assets, they come with numerous other advantages. Depending upon how it is set up, a trust can help to avoid probate, shield assets from creditors, keep your financial matters private, and offer relief from steep tax burdens — they are also regularly used in connection with Medicaid planning. Significantly, there are many different trusts recognized under Florida law, based on your needs.

Trusts can be either revocable or irrevocable. A revocable living trust, also known as an inter vivos trust, is one of the most common types of trusts used in Florida estate planning. These trusts are created during your lifetime and allow you to make changes at any point before you pass. They can also help to avoid the lengthy and costly probate process.

In contrast, a testamentary trust is created as part of your will and becomes effective at the time of death. While these types of trusts do not avoid probate, they can be used to distribute your assets to your chosen beneficiaries while minimizing tax ramifications. Testamentary trusts are irrevocable, meaning they cannot be changed once they are created.

Other types of trusts that are regularly used in Florida estate plans include charitable trusts, pet trusts, credit shelter trusts, special needs trusts, spendthrift trusts, and many others. At Waugh PLLC, our wills trusts and estates attorneys will thoroughly discuss your options with you and form a trust that adequately secures your assets for the benefit of your loved ones. Offering full-service representation, we also assist clients with trust modifications, reformations, conversions, accountings, and various other trust obligations.

Contact Experienced Florida Wills Trusts and Estates Attorneys

If you are thinking about planning your estate, it’s vital to have the guidance of an attorney who can help you navigate the process. Waugh PLLC provides personalized legal services and individualized attention to clients and their families for drafting wills, creating trusts, and other estate planning matters. We invite you to give us a call at (321) 800-6008 or to contact us for a consultation to learn more about how we can help.