Proven Real Estate Law & Estate Planning Strategies!
ESTATE PLANNING AND PROBATE SERVICES
Every adult should have an estate plan, yet 75% fail to do so. At a minimum, everyone needs a Will package consisting of an attorney-drafted Will, a durable power of attorney (financial) and a health care power of attorney (with combined living will for end of life considerations and HIPAA release allowing access to medical records). People lacking these essential and affordable powers of attorney ("POAs") risk incurring an expensive, time consuming court-ordered guardianship action if they become incapacitated. In a POA, the principal appoints an agent to make decisions for them if they cannot make them for themself, thereby avoiding guardianship.
If a person dies without a Will, FL law determines who gets their assets. The law (732.101-102, Fla. Statute) prioritizes these heirs, starting with surviving spouse, then children, grandchildren, parents, siblings and on down the line. Note that this state law makes no provisions for boyfriends, significant others, friends, charities, or unequal shares being given. Unless one is satisfied with the state-ordered schedule of priority a Will is essential.
While Wills are perfectly acceptable (and better than nothing), they must be probated (see below) when one dies. Probate may often be avoided by forming a Trust and placing one's assets in that Trust. More and more people are forming Trusts for these reasons.
Hagen Law makes formulating an estate plan simple, streamlined and affordable.
If a person dies owning assets in their sole name, then a court case entitled Probate must be opened whereby the Court oversees payment of creditors and distribution of assets according to the Will or state law. Probate requires an attorney's guidance in conjunction with the personal representative named in the Will. Probate may take anywhere from 2 weeks to 1+ year depending upon the value and complexity of the estate.
Hagen Law is pleased to assist with the probate of estates, typically on a fair, flat fee basis.
Judy Prowl: Judy@MikeHagen.com: Real estate and litigation
Mary Genca: Mary@MikeHagen.com: Probate, estate planning, admin.
Lisa Lotocke: Lisa@MikeHagen.com: Bookkeeper
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