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Answers to Common Estate Planning Questions

Estate planning – especially when a business is involved – is seldom simple, but there are a few things you should know that will make you feel a little more educated. Ask your estate planning attorney about the following items that will help you plan for and manage your estate:

1. I just moved and already have a last Will and Testament – can you go over it with me to make sure it's correct?

If you have an existing Will (especially if you have relocated), bring it with you. Chances are it needs to be updated or brought in line with your new state’s law. You'll want to execute a new, revised Will with the assistance of your attorney and make sure you have at least two witnesses; without these folks, the whole Will could wind up in probate.

2. Do I need a buy-sell agreement for my business?

Do you want to go into business with your partner’s spouse or children? If not, consider having a buy-sell agreement among the owners of your business. A buy-sell agreement, if structured properly, will have a structure for your partner’s ownership interest to be purchased at a predetermined price upon disability and/or death. Doing so will now will prevent a lot of potential heartache later.

3. Do I have a taxable estate?

Currently, the estate tax exemption is set at just over $11 million for individuals and $22 million for couples, and is indexed every year for inflation. And since Florida has no state estate tax, the vast majority of people will avoid having a taxable estate. However, if you are one of those that fall outside the generous limits and have assets you need to protect, you can pass more onto your surviving spouse and beneficiaries completely free from the estate tax through some careful estate planning strategies.

4. What should I set up for my kids? They're under 18 right now and if I die unexpectedly, what can I do to make sure they're covered?

You can set up any number of trust types to protect what you want your kids to get when you die. If your kids are grown but you have grandchildren to think about, you can also choose a generation-skipping trust to protect what you want them to receive. There are many trust options here, so make sure you provision one well – you don't want a 19-year-old rolling around town with the bankroll you spent your whole life building. Think of options like having them receive a monthly stipend until they reach a certain age, or only giving them the remainder of their trust if they finish college (if you’re a big proponent for education, this is a great lure to make sure those kids finish school.)

Contact our Fort Myers estate planning law firm for a complimentary consultation on how we can help you with estate planning.

Categories: Estate Planning
dorcey law firm
The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC - Fort Myers Attorney
Located at 10181 Six Mile Cypress Pkwy, Suite C, Fort Myers, FL 33966
Phone: (239) 330-6674
Local Phone: (239) 418-0169
Website: http://www.dorceylaw.com
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