Estate Planning Florida
South Florida Legal Doc Prep Services d/b/a Florida Probate and Estate Planning provides services to self-represented prose individuals and probate and estate planning law firms and attorneys throughout the State of Florida or having business in Florida. We offer Virtual Estate Planning Paralegal services and Estate Planning Trust and Will document preparation services to prose Individuals in all cities and counties statewide. For more information on our Florida Probate paralegal services and Probate legal document preparation services, check out this link.
What is Estate Planning?
Florida estate planning is a collection of estate planning legal documents that protect your assets, real estate, and personal property and explain how you wish for “your estate” to pass on upon your death. Everyone has an “estate”. If you do not have an estate plan in place, your property will be distributed based on intestacy Florida laws. Many people think they cannot afford a Florida estate planning attorney to prepare a Florida revocable living trust and will and other estate planning legal documents.
However, it is possible to obtain the services of a Florida Estate Planning legal document preparer or a Florida estate planning nonlawyer to assist in this matter if you do not need legal advice or tax advice.
Florida Revocable Living Trust
A Florida Revocable Living Trust is generally necessary if you are trying to avoid probate so that your assets will not go through probate court when you die. Otherwise, your beneficiaries will need to hire a Florida probate attorney or probate legal document preparer and wait for the Judge to enter an Order allowing your assets to be distributed. This can sometimes take months to years depending on if it is contested. Whether or not there is a Will, the chances of an estate being contested are more probable than if you have a Florida Revocable Living Trust. By having your assets put into a Living Trust, you can save your loved one’s ample time, money, and aggravation.
Florida Last Will and Testament
A Florida Last Will and Testament will allow you to instruct the executor on how to distribute your assets in your estate testate upon death. However, by having a simple will, your probate assets will still need to go through Florida probate court before your beneficiaries can obtain those assets. Many people think that a Will prevents probate but that is not so.
When making a will in Florida, whether you obtain the services of a will document preparer to assist in preparing your Florida will form, you can be as specific as you like in a Will. You can give your Bob Dylan records to your niece, Shari, and your vegan cookbooks to Sally. You can also designate a legal guardian should you have any minor children upon your death. Without a Will, or intestate, who inherits your assets or who is granted guardian of your minor children is determined by Florida law and may not be what your final wishes are at all.
Florida Living Will
A Florida Living Will is a health care directive legal document in which you would specify your request for or refusal of certain medical treatments and procedures if you should become incapacitated and have a terminal condition; end-stage condition or be in a persistent vegetative state. Usually it means you are declaring that should any of these situations occur, you are giving your expressed wishes to your treating physician ahead of time as to your life-prolonging procedures. No law in Florida requires a person to have a Living Will. You will want to make sure your primary physician and hospital have a copy of this within your medical records. However, if you do not have one, then your spouse, adult children, other family members, etc. may make the final decision and that may or may not be in your best interest and may not be what everyone agrees to.
Designation of Health Care Surrogate
Designation of Health Care Surrogate is another health care directive that any adult can add to their estate planning documents. This healthcare directive would allow you to designate a surrogate and usually, an alternate or successor surrogate should the original surrogate not be able or willing to perform its duties. This instrument designates the surrogate to make informed health care decisions and/or medical consents should you not be able to do so. This procedure and/or designation is outlined within Florida Statutes Section 765.203. Generally, you will want to provide a copy of your health care documents to your primary physician, hospital, and surrogates. Without these instruments in place, you could receive medical care or more treatment or procedures that you would not want.
Power of Attorney
A Florida Power of Attorney is usually part of your estate planning package in which you would designate someone to act on your behalf usually for financial transactions and banking. However, if you need one for health care, you will want to have a Designation of Health Care Surrogate implemented.
There are several different types of power of attorneys in Florida.
General Power of Attorney – This allows you to give someone broad authority including making financial transactions like banking, buying or selling real estate, dealing with the government, etc.
Limited or Special Power of Attorney – This type of power of attorney is used when you wish to name someone for specific purposes and for a limited time. Maybe you are not going to be in the country and you need someone to complete a real estate closing on your behalf. This limited power generally provides for a specific and will terminate once the purpose ends or is complete.
Durable Power of Attorney – This allows for authority to a specific named person to have the power either general or specific and to stay effective even after your incapacity. Chapter 709, Florida Statutes further outlines this type of power.
Without a Florida Durable Power of Attorney and a Designation of Health Care Surrogate, should you become incapacitated, you will face the chance of needing a guardianship established in your case and this can become quite costly and cumbersome.
Declaration of Pre-Need Guardian
A Declaration of Pre-Need Guardian is often part of the advanced directives. It can be a very important part of your estate planning package. This pre-need guardian legal document designates who will serve as your guardian if you are determined by a court to be incapacitated. This preneed guardianship document will allow you to appoint someone as your guardian should you grow older and may develop dementia and Alzheimer’s. With this Florida estate planning declaration of preneed guardian, you can designate multiple people in order of preference to be your caregiver. Without this Florida declaration of pre-need guardianship in place, you can be susceptible and vulnerable to elder abuse and exploitation.
Lady Bird Deed or Enhanced Life Estate Deed is a special type of property deed utilized to allow you to retain use and control over your property during your lifetime and then transfer the property to designated heirs upon your death. The great thing is that they will not need to go through probate to have this property transferred to them. With a life estate deed, the remainderman owns the property upon your death and becomes the life estate holder.
A Florida lady bird deed does not affect your homestead rights as long as you live on the property. It is suggested that if you choose to have a Florida Lady Bird deed executed, you have it recorded to perfect and document the conveyance. This way you do not need to worry about the deed getting lost. The disadvantage to not having this Florida Life Estate Deed in place will determine that your loved ones will need to spend time, and money and go through probate court to get this property transferred and it may not be how you want it to go.
Our Estate Planning paralegal and legal document preparation services include, but are not limited to the following:
- Last Will and Testament
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Directives including Designation of Health Care Surrogate and Living Will
- Florida Revocable Living Trust packages including Pour-Over Will, Living Will; Durable Power of Attorney; Designation of Health Care Surrogate; HIPAA Waiver; Final Disposition Instructions; Lady Bird Deed
- Quit Claim Deeds
- Petition for Guardianship for Adults and Minor Children for attorneys
- Petition for Appointment of Guardian Advocate
How we stand out from the rest
South Florida Legal Doc Prep Services d/b/a Florida Probate and Estate Planning are backed with over 25 years of paralegal experience. We have provided probate and estate planning paralegal services to thousands of individuals throughout the country and to many attorneys doing business in Florida.
Our customers have impeccable things to say about us and we go above and beyond for our clients. We offer personalized, fast, and affordable nonlawyer services and will assist you in filing your documents with the probate court.
Our rates are very competitive and generally on a low-cost flat-fee basis for pro se individuals who are self-represented as well as for attorneys.
Are you a probate or trust attorney needing our assistance? We can provide a quote at an hourly rate or a fixed rate depending on how many hours you need, etc.
This blog does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.