Boca Raton and Palm Beach Based Estate Planning Attorneys Help South Florida Clients
You are never too young and healthy to start organizing your estate plan. A solid estate plan ensures your wishes are met upon your death, protects your loved ones and preserves your assets during your lifetime. Founded more than 30 years ago, Walser & Herman Law Firm is one of the oldest estate planning firms in Boca Raton and Palm Beach. Our attorneys focus exclusively on estate planning, probate and related matters so you receive comprehensive guidance with your wills and trusts planning and drafting.
Florida Last Will and Testament
Your will allows you to distribute your assets as you choose. This can be especially important if you want to leave property to a non-relative, such as a life partner or a charity. If you die without a will, the court divides your assets according to intestate laws, which allocates a certain percentage to your spouse, children or other relatives.
In Florida, a valid will can be executed by any person who is 18 years or older, of sound mind and who signs the written document in front of two competent witnesses. Our wills and trust attorneys suggest that you draft your will now and update the document periodically or whenever a significant event occurs — such as a marriage, a divorce, the birth of a child, the death of a beneficiary or the growth or loss of your financial worth. For minor changes, you can create an amendment, called a codicil. For substantial changes to the terms, it may be better to write a new will that replaces the original document.
Establishing a Trust Instrument in Florida
Sometimes, leaving assets to heirs outright is not advisable. For example, you may want to protect property from future creditors, you may want to preserve funds for minor children or you may want to diminish tax liabilities. A trust is often an effective means of accomplishing these objectives.
A trust is an estate planning instrument that establishes a legal relationship between the:
- Grantor — the person who owns property that is transferred to ownership of the trust
- Trust — the owner of the property
- Trustee — the person or entity that oversees maintenance and distribution of trust property for the benefit of the trust’s beneficiaries
- Beneficiary — the person, charity or entity that receives benefit of the property owned by the trust
The trust may be a living trust, which is established during the lifetime of the grantor, or a testamentary trust, triggered by the death of the grantor. The trust may also be revocable or irrevocable. How you form your trust can have substantial implications on its validity and effectiveness. Our firm creates a trust that accomplishes the specific purpose you intend and that protects you and your beneficiaries.
Estate Tax Planning
The Walser & Herman Law Firm team includes C.P.A.s and other tax professionals who advise on important tax matters associated with your estate plan. Our team considers tax implications of your estate planning decisions and whether a trust might benefit you and your heirs. We determine how best to remain below the federal estate tax threshold, which is constantly changing — Florida does not impose an estate tax on its residents. We also discuss ways to reduce your personal tax liability through estate planning tools.
Plan Your Estate with the Help of Our Boca Raton and Palm Beach Wills and Trusts Attorneys
Retain Walser & Herman Law Firm for comprehensive estate planning. You can reach the wills and trusts attorneys in our Boca Raton main office or our Palm Beach office by calling 561.750.1040 or contacting us by email.