If you have an estate plan and it is out of date, your assets could be lost to the state department of unclaimed property or to an unnecessary and public court process.
If you do not have an estate plan, then your state has a plan for you, and it’s probably not what you want.
The bottom line: If you do not know exactly what would happen to everyone you love and everything you own, then the first step is to find out exactly what would happen legally and financially so that you can decide if the current state of your affairs is okay with you.
How We Help You with Estate Planning in Palm Beach County
We meet together for your Family Readiness Planning Session where the sole purpose is to make you more informed. Before your Family Readiness Planning Session, you will complete your Family Readiness Inventory & Assessment, which will help you to become clear about what you own and what you have to think about when it comes to planning for the well-being and care of your loved ones and your belongings in Florida. If we both decide that it is a fit to work together, then we will design a Florida estate plan together that will best suit the need for you and your loved ones.
The foundation of your estate plan will often include a revocable living trust, which, when done correctly and maintained over time, should help your family avoid the cost and delay of the public probate process and minimize or eliminate estate taxes. For people with additional planning needs, we provide advanced estate planning services.
The dilemma of a DIY Estate Plan in Florida
Unfortunately, most DIY plans do not work because much of what passes for estate “planning” is little more than word processing. You answer a few automated questions and then the drafter (normally just software, not a human being) decides which “plan” is right for you. And then you are forced into a template document that may not reflect your needs or situation whatsoever. This is not estate planning; this is little more than a “search and replace” of your family’s name and then the hit of the “print” button.
We Are Experienced Estate Planning Attorneys
The Law Office of Juan A. Pyfrom will educate you and take the time to get to know you, your family, your concerns, your goals, and your issues. Juan will gladly and patiently answer all your questions to design an estate plan that is exactly right for you and will keep your loved ones out of court and out of conflict.
Planning for Your Children
Is a Will Enough in Florida?
If you are a Florida parent of minor children who is counting on you, your estate plan must begin with ensuring your children would always be taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what happens.
Our attorneys have years of experience planning for the well-being and care of the children you love – all the way from newborn to the age of majority, and all the way through adulthood if your child has a special need in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Without Proper Planning, Here’s What Could Happen
- Your children could be placed into the care of strangers while the authorities figure out what to do (yes, even if you have a will in place and even if you have a living trust). It’s true that this would likely only be temporary but trust us: you never want your children in the arms of strangers, not even for a minute.
- Your children could be put into the custody and care of someone you would never want, like that one family member who has good intentions but who you would never want raising your kids.
- A judge who doesn’t know you or your family will decide who will raise your kids, even if it is the last person you would ever want.
- Your family could get into a long-drawn-out custody fight or there could be a challenge to the guardians you have designated.
- Up to 5% of the value of your assets could be lost to court costs and other unnecessary fees through the probate process, a court process that can tie up your assets for years and deprive your kids of the resources they need to live comfortably.
- When your kids turn age 18, they get a check for whatever assets are left, no matter how immature they might be or what financial lessons they have not had a chance to learn yet.
- Unscrupulous people out there find out when 18-year olds are getting that inheritance check by searching the public court records.
- Unfortunately, the vast majority of estate planning attorneys do not address these issues and do not plan from a parent’s perspective.
Yes, these things scare us too. That’s why we incorporate planning for children in every Florida estate plan we do for families with young children.
What is a Family Readiness Plan?
Your Family Readiness Plan is a set of instructions, legal documents, and an emergency wallet card – all of which you need to have if you have kids at home who count on you for their well-being and care.
If you are in an accident, your Family Readiness Plan will make sure your children are never taken into the custody of Child Protective Services, strangers, or the care of anyone you would not want simply because the authorities don’t have clear instructions from you. Your Family Readiness Plan will ensure your children are raised by people you choose, not someone is chosen by a judge who doesn’t know you.
Get started with your Family Readiness Plan today!
Asset Protection Planning in Florida
No one expects to be sued. Just ask the 20 million people involved in lawsuits last year.
Divorce, inheritance, health issues, creditors, employee disputes, theft, changing markets, malpractice suits, sexual harassment claims, natural disasters and disgruntled business partners – these are just a few issues that can result in devastating lawsuits for unprepared business owners. Americans are now more concerned than ever about protecting their assets from creditor claims, taxes, divorce and other disasters. And rightly so.
The more success you have, especially in business, professional practice or real estate activities, the more at risk you are as others see your success grow.
Are Your Assets at Risk?
Here are some of the risky behaviors you may be engaging in right now without even realizing it:
- Will you be signing loan documents, a personal guaranty, or a lease in the near future?
- Do you have rental properties or employees?
- Are you an attorney or a physician?
- Do you work in construction or perform professional services?
- Are you getting married soon?
- Are you or will you be getting married and you have children from a prior marriage or separate property assets?
Our Florida estate planning attorneys set up your estate planning in proper ways to ensure that you can take the maximum risk with minimum worry.
We assist our clients in determining the appropriate level of asset protection planning for their particular circumstances. We will consider insurance, prenuptial agreements, asset segregation, choice of jurisdiction, gifting, LLCs, partnerships, corporations, and asset protection trusts.
There are many different strategies to accomplish the protection of your assets both while you are alive and for your family after you are gone.
Estate Tax in Palm Beach County
During your life, you pay all kinds of taxes: income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, and so on. And at the end, the government still wants to tax you on the assets you have left at your death. This is known as the estate tax, sometimes called the “inheritance tax” or “death tax.”
The best way to protect your assets and your family’s future from excessive taxation is to hire an attorney who specializes in estate tax planning. We can help you reduce – if not entirely avoid – the federal estate tax burden.
How Does the Estate Tax Work in Florida?
The estate tax is totally separate from federal income tax, property tax, sales tax, and every other type of tax you’ve paid during your lifetime. An estate tax is a tax paid on the net value of all your assets owned at your death. However, there are fairly sizable exemptions to the estate tax, so it is primarily a high net-worth individual or family who is affected in Florida.
Advanced Estate Planning Strategies in West Palm Beach, Florida
Families with high-value estates face several complex legal and tax issues – estate tax is only one of them.
We offer a number of advanced estate planning strategies that are aimed primarily at reducing a family’s tax burden. In addition to minimizing or eliminating the estate tax liability, we also help you leverage the advantages of gift tax and generation-skipping tax to pass assets on for successive generations without risk of a tax liability decimating your estate at each generation.
Some of our most popular advanced estate planning tools and strategies include:
- Life insurance trusts
- Qualified personal residence trusts
- Grantor retained annuity trusts
- Asset protection trusts
- Land trusts
- Dynasty Trusts
- Family limited partnerships or limited liability companies
- Asset gifting
Having a Will Alone Simply Does Not Ensure the Care of Your Kids If the Unthinkable Happens to You!
If you are a parent of minor children who are counting on you, your estate plan must begin with ensuring your children would always be taken care of by the people you want, in the way you want, no matter what happens.
One of our areas of greatest expertise is in planning for the well-being and care of the children you love – all the way from newborn to age of majority, and all the way through adulthood if your child has a special need.