Most people don’t want to think about what will happen after death. However, there gets to be a point where it’s important to make sure that your family and your assets are taken care of after you pass away. Candela Law Firm can help you set up wills and trusts in Tampa, FL so you can feel confident that everything and everyone is taken care of accordingly. We’re here to assist with the process by answering a few questions that you might have regarding the appropriate plan for you.
What’s the difference between wills and trusts?
When it comes to setting up wills and trusts, it’s important to understand the difference between the two and which is right for you and your estate. A will is a legal document that clearly expresses what an individual would like done with their property after death. The will only goes into effect after you die, so the only input you have regarding the distribution of assets among beneficiaries is what has been written into the will itself.
A trust is protected from probate court challenges, guarantees privacy after death, and requires a transfer of property. While a will is not at all effective until death, a trust takes effect immediately after it’s established. This allows you to have full control of the trust for the remainder of your life, which includes changing the trust as you see fit. Should you become incapacitated, the person who you’ve appointed as the successor trustee can then step in and continue to handle your affairs as you’ve outlined in the document. A trust will also save your heirs time and money by avoiding probate court.
How do I set up a will?
Setting up a will is a relatively simple process. Once you’ve decided what all will be included in your will, decide where it all will go after you pass. Choose your beneficiaries and what exactly they will receive. This can include dollar amounts or percentages and special items from your estate. If you have a son or daughter who will be inheriting a classic car you own, this is where you would specify who gets the car. If your children are minors, your will is where you will name new guardians for them as necessary.
Be sure to assign someone as the executor of your will. This is the person who reads your will and ensures that all of your wishes are carried out accordingly. An estate attorney can take on this role as there is no benefit to caving to familial pressures or choosing sides.
While your will doesn’t require a notary public to witness and notarize your will, you will need two witnesses to sign and date your will. Make sure that your witnesses aren’t anybody who would benefit from the will or they’ll be disqualified.
Keep in mind that you can update your will as needed. Revisit and update it as your life and the lives of those around you change. Read over it every few years to ensure that everything is still applicable.
How do I set up a trust?
Part of setting up a trust is knowing what type of trust fits your goals best. You can establish a third-party special needs trust, bypass trust, revocable trust, revocable living trust, irrevocable trust, or grantor trust. An estate attorney can help you decide which is best for you and how to go about each process.
Part of establishing your trust includes assessing your assets. This includes all personal property, real estate, and cash accounts. Then you’ll need to choose a successor trustee. This person will receive the trust property after your death and continue to ensure that your wishes continue to be carried out.
Finally, prepare the trust document and transfer the title of proper to yourself as trustee.
Hire an expert in wills and trusts in Tampa, FL
Contact us today at Candela Law Firm and we’ll help you get started establishing wills and trusts in Tampa, FL. If you’re still unsure which is best for you and the future of your beneficiaries, we can help. Anthony Candela and his team are experienced in dealing with estate planning and will help you protect your assets now and after death.