Judy-Ann Smith Law Firm, P.A
We assist individuals and families in planning their estates. This involves not only reducing estate taxes, but also protecting the estate during life. We prepare wills designed to reduce or eliminate federal and estate taxes, powers of attorney drafted to permit the effective management of assets and personal affairs, and advance medical directives (health care proxies with living will language) giving instructions to health care providers in the event of incapacity. Various kinds of revocable and irrevocable trusts are also prepared, if appropriate.
Judy-Ann Smith Law Firm, P.A estate planning attorneys serve families throughout Florida, and the surrounding counties. We encourage you to contact us for a free consultation about your particular estate planning needs. Learn more about our services below.
Wills & Trusts
A last will and testament, more commonly called a Will, is the basic building block of your estate plan. This document sets forth your wishes for the disposition of your property when you die. It only directs distribution of property that you own in your name alone and without beneficiary designation. It also names the personal representative who will administer your estate.
There are many types of trusts available depending on your needs, but the most common are revocable living trusts and irrevocable living trusts. After your death, the successor trustee you name will manage and distribute trust assets for your beneficiaries according to the rules you made when you created the trust. One major benefit of a trust is that the property it holds does not need to go through probate.
Powers of Attorney
A power of attorney (POA) allows someone you trust to make financial decisions on your behalf. Most POA documents in Florida go into effect once they are signed by you and the person you have appointed to make financial decisions. It is a very important document, and you should carefully select the person who will make financial decisions for you. Without a POA, if you became incapacitated and needed someone to be able to act on your behalf, they would need to get a court’s permission to do so. This could be time-consuming and costly. Check out our FAQ section for more information on the Power of Attorney.
Health Care Proxy
A Health Care Proxy allows you to designate a person you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf in the event you are incapacitated unable to do so. You can provide this person with guidance as to your wishes. Like a Power of Attorney, a Health Care Proxy spares your loved ones the need to go to court to get permission to help you. Check out our FAQ section for more information on the Health Care Proxy.
Planning for Young Families
Young families have a lot to think about. Once you get through getting the kids to school, going to work, cooking dinner, cleaning the house, bath time, bed time and quality time with your spouse, there’s not much time left to think about the future. Download our very simple one page questionnaire today and fill it in at your leisure. When you have it complete (or mostly complete) we can meet and put a plan in place to protect you, your spouse and your family. Our estate plans for young families are designed to be easy to understand and provide flexibility for the future — and are very affordable. Download the questionnaire now and contact us when you are ready to meet and discuss your answers.
The Judy-Ann Smith Law Firm, P.A estate planning attorneys are happy to answer your questions at a no obligation consultation.