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Guide to estate planning from a Tampa attorney
December 19, 2022

Estate planning can be one of the most important investments you make for yourself, your family, and your legacy. It involves legal and financial considerations. More importantly, it can also give you peace of mind to know that your affairs are in order.

As an experienced Tampa attorney, Candela Law Firm, P.A. understands the intricacies of estate planning and how to navigate all its complexities. We believe it's our obligation to guide families through this process so they're assured that a sound plan is in place—whatever life events may come up down the road. Keep reading for an expert guide to understanding estate planning, setting goals, enabling access to assets, and more.

What is estate planning, and why do you need it?

Estate planning is a must after someone passes away to maintain control over the following:

  • Property
  • Finances
  • Healthcare

Working with an experienced attorney for end-of-life documents ensures that a lifetime of assets will be distributed according to your wishes and not just left up to the law.

Aside from avoiding unsettled disputes relating to the will, it helps ensure the following:

  • Legacy items are preserved
  • Any debts are paid off first
  • Important documents are easily accessible in case of any delays or legal technicalities.

Estate planning is so much more than simply writing a will; it also includes the following:

  • Appointing guardians for minors
  • Managing trusts and tax liabilities
  • Protecting beneficiaries from creditors

Although estate planning may seem complicated at first glance, failing to do so may have long-term consequences. Find an attorney with whom you can establish a long-term relationship to continue to update your will throughout your life.

An old couple walking towards the Seven Sisters

The different types of estate planning documents

Estate planning documents often seem complicated and intimidating, but they provide financial and asset stability for generations.

Different types of estate planning documents have distinct purposes, yet many overlap in objective. The most common documents include the following:

  • Will
  • Trust agreement
  • Durable power of attorney
  • Healthcare proxy
  • Living will
  • Probate
  • Pet trusts

A comprehensive estate planning strategy should include all these documents to ensure that your assets and wishes are taken into account during life's inevitable changes. A qualified professional will manage your estate plan to ensure your needs are met now and in the future.

Still life

How to choose an estate planning attorney

When it comes to estate planning, finding the right attorney is paramount. Your attorney should have experience and knowledge of your state's estate planning laws and regulations. They should also be familiar with federal estate laws and be able to provide quality advice on the best tax strategies for meeting your unique goals.

It is crucial that you choose someone you feel comfortable working with and can trust. During a consultation, don't be afraid to ask an attorney about the following:

  • Their education
  • Relevant qualifications
  • Recent experience

The consultation is the time to ensure you select the right person for the job. In addition, always get a written fee agreement before engaging an attorney, so there is clear communication about billing practices.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently select an experienced, professional, trustworthy estate planning attorney who has your best interests at heart.

Candela Law Firm, P. A is a Tampa estate planning attorney working with clients on a wide range of end-of-life documents.

Candela Law Firm is a board-certified attorney bringing expertise and detailed attention to preparing wills, trusts, child protection plans, and more. We partner with clients to walk them through planning for the division of assets after they're gone. While it's not always easy to think about, keeping an updated estate plan protects your assets whether or not you have heirs.

It may not seem like the law needs to be involved with the aging process, but everything from a living will to healthcare directives and power of attorney means you have legal protection when the worst happens. Schedule a consultation with Candela Law Firm to work with a Tampa attorney for estate planning.

Image of two chairs on the beach where people in retirement might sit and relax after estate planning with a Tampa attorney.
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