Wills and Trusts

Florida Wills and Trusts for Protecting Your Legacy

There are various estate planning documents for Florida residents, and each of them has a unique purpose. The most common documents in estate planning include wills and testaments, or trusts. These documents are specific and customized to meet your goals and protect heirs in the distribution of an estate. The assets that you intend to leave to your family, loved ones, friends, and even favorite charities are important to put in writing. At Downer Law, our legal team provides solid legal counsel to clients in need of services for drafting wills and trusts.

Living Trusts

A Living Trust is a legal document that places assets in trust for your benefit during your lifetime and distributes a decedent’s assets without the challenge of probate and court proceedings. It bypasses probate, allowing beneficiaries to access an estate immediately after the decedent’s passing. A trust is a legal arrangement authorizing a person of your choosing to manage your affairs before and after death. In addition, there are tax advantages to having a living trust. There are many types of Trusts for various applications. The most common is the revocable trust and the irrevocable trust. A revocable trust can be updated at any time, whereas an irrevocable trust cannot be modified. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of trusts, which can be fully discussed with an experienced estate planning attorney

Last Wills and Testaments

Many Floridians pass away without even a basic Will. Having a last will drafted and properly executed is essential to ensure a decedent’s wishes are carried out without confusion, conflict, or extensive delay. Another advantage of having a will is selecting an executor of your choosing to distribute property and assets to your beneficiaries. If there are minor children, a will can designate a known, trusted guardian that will best care for your children’s financial future.

There are disadvantages of a will as an estate must be probated, which can be a lengthy and costly court process. At probate proceedings, the court settles the decedent’s debts before the distribution of assets. The probate process becomes a public record, affording the beneficiaries no privacy in the estate’s settlement. A Will is only in effect after a person’s death. Therefore, if a person is incapacitated, the executor cannot manage the person’s financial matters.

Updating Wills and Trusts

It is essential to update estate planning documents every few years or when there are financial or personal lifestyle changes. It may include a marriage, a divorce, the birth of a child, the purchase or sale of a business, an inheritance, the death of a spouse or beneficiary, or new legislation that affects estate tax laws. Keeping your estate plan current ensures that your wishes regarding your legacy are honored.


Let Our Experience Be Your Guide to Effective Estate Planning

At Downer Law, we represent clients of all ages. Our clients include married and single clients, multi-generational and blended families, business owners and executives, professionals, and retirees. Estate planning is for every age and socioeconomic status. We are experienced in drafting simple wills and trusts and have clients that require sophisticated estate planning strategies to meet their needs. We know that clarity in the language of the documents and communication with our clients is the key to a successful estate plan.

Contact Downer Law to schedule an appointment at our office.

We represent clients in Volusia, Seminole, and Orange county.

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