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Estate Planning

Jerome R. Siegel

Jerome R. Siegel, P.A.

The Law Office of Jerome R. Siegel, P.A. Represents Clients in Matters Involving Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Guardianship, Incapacity, Exploitation, Probate & Elder Law

What We Do:

The Law Office of Jerome R. Siegel, P.A. has more than 37 years of experience practicing estate planning, wills, trusts, guardianship and probate law in Florida. Through personal experience, Attorney Siegel has cared for loved ones and dealt with the anxiety, stress and joy of being a caregiver. Our practice areas include:

  • Estate PlanningNAELA
  • Elder Law/Elder Abuse
  • Guardianship & Incapacity
  • Living Wills & Last Wills
  • Power of Attorney
  • Probate Law
  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Exploitation

Call the Law Office of Jerome R. Siegel, P.A. at (954) 229-2226 today to schedule a consultation. We’re dedicated to implementing an estate plan for you, that both disposes of your assets according to your wishes and meets your other personal objectives.

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What is Estate Planning?

Good estate planning is more than just simply drafting a will. Estate planning also minimizes potential taxes and fees and sets up contingency plans to make sure your wishes regarding health care treatment are followed. On the financial side, a good estate plan coordinates what will happen with your home, your investments, your business, your life insurance, your employee benefits (such as a 401K plan), and other property in the event you became disabled or in the event of your death.

Does it make sense to use an Estate Planning Attorney, and is it expensive?

Only an estate planning attorney who regularly practices in the fields of wills, trusts, probate and estate planning is able to provide you with really sound legal advice as you put your estate plan into place. Estate planning attorneys are subject to regulation by state bar organizations, many of which have continuing education requirements and mandatory liability insurance in case the lawyer makes a mistake. Often the expense incurred in retaining an estate planning attorney to prepare and help you put an Estate Plan into place is worth hundreds of times what you and your family would pay with no planning or poor planning. It would also avoid the financial and emotional nightmares that can occur with a poorly drafted (or improper) plan.

When should I start my estate plan?

The only time that you can prepare and implement an estate plan is while you are alive and have legal capacity to enter into a contract. If you are unable to manage your own affairs or suffer from some other disability which affects your legal capacity, your estate plan may be effectively challenged by those who assert that you lacked capacity at the time the documents were created, that you were subjected to fraud, coercion or undue influence during the creation and implementation of your plan.

What are some of the typical estate planning documents?

Several of the following documents are typically used as part of the estate planning process:

  • A Will, sometimes called a Last Will and Testament, to transfer property you hold in your name to the person(s) and/or organization(s) you want to have it. A Will also typically names someone you select to be your Personal Representative (or Executor) to carry out your instructions and names a Guardian if you have minor children. A Will only becomes effective upon your death, and after it is admitted to probate.
  • A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care or Health Care Proxy appoints a person you designate to make decisions regarding your health care treatment in the event that you are unable to provide informed consent.
  • A Living Will or Directive to Physicians is an advance directive that gives doctors and hospitals your instructions regarding the nature and extent of the care you want should you suffer permanent incapacity, such as an irreversible coma.
  • A Durable Power of Attorney for Property appoints a person you designate to act for you and handle financial matters should you be unable or perhaps unavailable to do so.
  • A Living Trust can be used to hold legal title to and provide a mechanism to manage your property. You can select the person or persons you want — often even yourself — as the Trustee(s) to carry out the instructions you want in the Trust and name one or more Successor Trustees to take over if you cannot. Unlike a Will, a Trust usually becomes effective immediately, continues in force during your lifetime even in the event of your incapacity, and continues after your death. Most Trusts are revocable which allows the person who creates the Trust to make future changes, modifications and even to terminate it. (If the Trust is irrevocable, changes, modifications and termination are very difficult (and sometime impossible), although such Trusts often carry some tax benefits.) Trusts also help you avoid or minimize the expenses, delays and publicity of probate.
  • A Family Limited Partnership can be used to own and manage your property, in a similar manner to a Trust, but allowing additional tax planning techniques to be employed. Family Limited Partnerships are typically used for those who have large estates and thus have a need for specialized estate planning in order to minimize federal and state estate/death/inheritance taxes as well as provide elements of asset protection.

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