Longwood Florida Attorneys
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Estate Planning Attorneys in Longwood, FL

Serving the Estate Needs of Clients in Orlando and Throughout Florida

At Levy & Associates P.A., we know a well-drafted estate plan requires putting in the time to understand our clients’ goals, whether it is to avoid probate or to protect assets from creditors. Our lawyers take the time to discuss the various estate planning tools available to our clients to meet their needs. We meet with our clients to determine the best course of action and collaborate closely with financial planners and advisors to ensure the estate plan accomplishes our clients’ goals.

Call (407) 439-2822 or contact us online to schedule your consultation with our Longwood estate planning lawyer.

What is an Estate Plan?

When people think of estate planning, they often think of a last will and testament or a trust. While a will or trust are important parts of any estate plan, at Levy & Associates P.A., we know there are many other estate documents that everyone should include in their plan.

Our estate attorneys can help you with the following, and more:

  • Power of attorney – a power of attorney designates someone to act on your behalf, whether to manage your finances or make healthcare decisions if you are unable. In addition, this can be an inexpensive alternative to guardianship.
  • Living will – let your loved ones and medical providers know when you no longer desire life-prolonging measures.
  • Advance guardianship directive – designate who you want to be your guardian in the event that you are no longer able to manage your care or finances.

These are very powerful estate documents and should not be drafted without the assistance of an experienced attorney. At Levy & Associates P.A., our estate attorneys can give you peace of mind that these documents will be enforceable under Florida Law.

As the daughter of a veteran, Mrs. Eskin also takes great pride in ensuring our veterans are receiving the benefits they have earned through their service to our country. Mrs. Eskin also assists clients in preparing their estate plans to help qualify for government benefits, like Medicaid, to help families obtain health coverage for their loved ones.

Do I Need an Estate Plan?

Whether old or young, everyone should have certain estate planning documents to protect one’s assets and ensure that their choices are followed with respect to medical and/or financial decisions. For instance, under Florida law, once someone is over 18, no one has the legal authority to make decisions on that person’s behalf. Should an adult become unable to make decisions for themselves, a guardianship would be required which can be costly and time-consuming. However, a properly executed power of attorney can avoid the need for an expensive guardianship.

At Levy & Associates P.A., we believe everyone should have the basic estate planning documents discussed above, no matter how old or how big their estate is. We work with clients to make sure their estate plan meets their needs in an affordable way, whether that means a complex plan or a simple one.

Estate Planning with Special Needs in Florida

Preparing a proper estate plan is particularly important for families who have children or loved ones with special needs. Our estate planning attorneys are experienced in helping clients obtain government benefits for the loved ones with special needs. Attorney Eskin is passionate about protecting individuals with special needs, and she as taught other attorneys on how to draft estate plans to comply with state and federal law.

Without a properly drafted estate plan, family members with special needs may inherit property that disqualifies them from government benefits. The loss of benefits can be devastating to families and force families to reapply, which can be time-consuming.

Make sure your loved ones are protected. Call our estate law office in Longwood, FL at (407) 439-2822 now to get started on your plan.

Ensuring Family Funds Stay in the Family

Ensuring that family funds stay in the family is an important goal for those who want to pass their estates onto their children while avoiding the possibility that family assets will be misused or become a part of litigation should an adult child divorces or develops mental health issues that impact asset management. Or, the clients may want income to only be disbursed to their children, with the principal going to grandchildren. It is crucial that these sorts of concerns be candidly discussed with us so that we can design the most effective means to direct assets so they stay within the family or are otherwise directed according to the clients’ interests.

Some misconceptions about the distribution of family assets include:

  • Believing that all or part of an estate’s assets will be seized by the government, leading the owner to self-diagnose and create documents that cannot be enforced.
  • Assuming that, no matter what, a spouse inherits everything.
  • Thinking that having one child on a bank account along with directions to that child to share everything equally will effectively distribute their estate. This can actually create tax consequences that would not have been present with the correct estate planning.
  • Believing that only the spouse who earns the income needs to have a will and that it is unnecessary for the non-earning spouse to have a will.
  • Creating an IRA or other pension designations for heirs and/or a life insurance policy, but different beneficiaries on wills or trusts. IRAs and insurance plans always override what is written in a will.
  • Other misconceptions about estate planning can lead to termination of relationships between family members, payment of debts which may not be required to be paid upon death, but, worse than that, hard-earned assets do not get distributed according to the wishes of the individual who earned them.

The most troubling cases we see are where mistaken impressions about trusts created with a first spouse lead to the disinheritance of adult children, which is not what the decedent wanted, or where adult children seek to disinherit second spouses, ignoring statutory rights for surviving spouses.

Being aware of all family and business dynamics can lead to peace of mind and, more important, correct results and happier families. In-fighting after the death of a family member is avoidable with proper planning and understanding of legal rights and responsibilities.

I Have an Estate Plan, Do I Need to Update it?

At Levy & Associates P.A., we believe in treating your estate plan as an annual physical: Check it annually to ensure that insurance beneficiaries, pension, and other retirement accounts, and heirs on payable upon death accounts are still appropriate.

Client divorces or divorces of children or other possible beneficiaries, death of a spouse, child, or other beneficiary of an estate plan, birth of a special needs grandchild, a family member qualifying for governmental benefits, serious medical diagnosis, purchase or sale of a home or business, moving between states, or purchasing investment or vacation property in another state can have a dramatic impact upon an existing estate plan.

Florida is the primary or secondary home to many retirees who have completed estate plans in another state. We regularly review estate plans that comport with Florida law, but we also encounter some that may pose significant barriers or additional and costly work to admit a will into probate. It is always wise to have a Longwood estate planning attorney versed in probate law review an estate plan to ensure that it will accomplish one’s goals under Florida law.

At Levy & Associates P.A., we happily review ongoing or prior clients’ estate plans and welcome the opportunity to assist new clients in reviewing their previously drafted plans at an affordable rate.

Long-Term Relationships and Estate Planning

Many couples choose to stay together in a long-term, loving relationship without marriage, assuming they will be able to make medical and financial decisions for their partner. The sudden death of a partner may leave the survivor without a home, income, or any legal status regarding the loved one’s estate. These couples definitely would benefit from candid discussion and disclosure of assets and concerns to ensure that a loved one of choice is eligible to legally make medical and financial decisions and to have confidence that a loved one who survives is treated with dignity and respect and is able to maintain the home despite the death of the long-term partner.

Florida Estate Law and Children Turning 18

Parents are often surprised when their child turns 18 that they no longer have a right to the child’s medical or educational information. Yet, generally, an 18-year-old continues to rely on a parent’s guidance and financial and medical support. Execution of a power of attorney by the child to provide agency to a parent or parents is critical, particularly if the child becomes injured or ill.

To learn more about how our estate planning lawyers in Longwood can help you, please call us today at (407) 439-2822.

Why Hire Levy & Associates P.A.?

  1. We are a multi-practice law firm
  2. We offer affordable solutions
  3. We create tailored strategies based on your goals
  4. We have a diverse team with broad legal background
  5. We have decades of combines legal experience
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