Estate Planning

Planning for the Unexpected

It is hard to prepare for the unexpected but there are some documents that can assist you make it easier. By having a durable powers of attorney, living will, lady bird deed and a pre-need guardianship in place will assist you in having your future needs and wishes protected.

Durable Powers of Attorney

Durable Power of Attorney allows you to name someone else to carry on the day to day obligations and make health care decisions when you are unable. This document only is effective when you have been deemed incapacitated and has no effect if you are lucid.

Living Will

A Living Will provides a way for you to make your wishes regarding your medical treatment known to your loved ones and to the doctors and facility treating you in your hour of need.

Wills

For most individuals a standard or simple will is adequate to pass along their possessions they have accumulated in their lifetime. Of course, if you own real property in multiple states, have a disabled heir or children from multiple marriages,
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a living trust may be your best option. If you have a terminal illness with prospects of nursing home care in the near future then an irrevocable trust would be the right fit. When protecting or sheltering your asset you need to avoid the pitfalls and make sure all rules for estate planning are followed before a crisis occurs.

Trusts

Revocable Living Trust

A Revocable Living Trust gives you the most control over your assets. You can easily make changes to this trust such as changing beneficiaries and Trustees. After your death a revocable living trust allows your assets to be transferred without the need for probate.
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This feature is useful if you own real property in multiple states. Without this type of trust in place a probate proceeding would need to be initiated in each state where real property is held.

Irrevocable Trust

An Irrevocable Trust is simply a type of trust that can’t be changed after the agreement has been signed. You can create a irrevocable trust from a revocable trust by designing to become irrevocable after the death of the Trustmaker. Some examples are A/B Trusts,
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that provide protection of the surviving spouse; Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts; Qualified Personal Residence Trusts, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, and Buildup Equity Retirement Trusts that provide lifetime gifting to its beneficiaries; and Charitable Remainder Trusts and Charitable Lead Trusts that provide lifetime gifts to the selected charities.

Special Needs Trust

A Special Needs Trust allows you to provide care for your disabled child. The biggest obstacle to this type of trust is leaving the disabled child the assets and not jeopardizing their disability benefits. We here at Carroll Law, PA can assist you navigate this obstacle.

Pre Need Guardian

A Pre-need Guardian allows for you to select who will provide care for you. This will give the court guidance in selecting an individual to care for you should they deem a guardian is needed.

Land Trust

A Land Trust offers privacy to individuals owning numerous real properties. By using a land trust, no one will know what real estate you owned neither during your life nor at the time of your death. A person can create a land trust with a Corporation as the trustee and further eliminate any public record of their ownership of the property.
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The property’s tax bill would be addressed to the corporation and not the person. Additionally, a land trust will also allow you to avoid the probate process that could delay the distribution of your property to your heirs.

Lady Bird Deed

A “Lady Bird” deed, or an enhanced life estate deed, allows the owner to retain the right to sell, mortgage or lease the property, while you to pass the property to your intended heir upon your death. This is another tool to pass real property and avoid probate.
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Basically the deed is recorded with the property office and if you still own the property at the time of your death the named beneficiary would only need to provide the property office with a copy of your death certificate to facilitate their ownership.

Trusts

Probate

Probate is how the court oversees the distribution of ones assets and the payment of any liens associated with those assets. Probate allows for access assets and for them to be re-titled into the proper beneficiaries’ name.
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The most common forms of probate are:

Formal— for estates that have a value over $75,000.00;

Summary— for estates that have a value over $750.00 but less than $75,000.00, and

Ancillary— for estates that possess out of state property or proceedings

No matter if the deceased individual created a will or not, the probate attorney at Carroll Law, PA, located in Bay County, Panama City, Florida, can assist you with the probate process.

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