At Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon we understand what issues are essential in the long run: reducing tax burdens, protecting the principal of an estate while allowing for growth, and making sure business and personal interests are coordinated.
Since every family and every plan is unique, our attorneys provide personalized advice to suit each client’s needs.
Our willingness to work closely with our clients and our tax planning experience saves our clients substantial amounts of federal transfer tax.
Further, our estate planning, trust, and probate groups also work closely with our firm’s tax, real property, and trial practice attorneys to help our clients minimize estate taxes and preserve assets.
These professionals are trained and experienced in all aspects of estate law and can help you maximize your legacy.
Do I Need an Estate Plan?
Yes, everyone needs an estate plan. Even when they are on the smaller side, personal estates quickly become complicated when someone dies.
For example, How do you want your personal property distributed? How will you split up your savings? These are just some of the questions having an estate plan will take care of.
What Is an Estate Plan?
An estate plan instructs your loved ones on how to handle your estate when you’re gone. An estate plan typically includes your will, trust documents, powers of attorney, and medical directives.
Your estate is everything you own: your personal property, your home, your money, and other assets that belong to you. The more things you have (and the more valuable they are) the more beneficial an estate plan becomes.
What Happens If I Don’t Have an Estate Plan?
The biggest risk you run if you don’t set up an estate plan is having your estate distributed in a way you don’t want.
For example, if you die without a will (called dying “intestate”) Florida’s intestacy laws will determine how your assets are handled. These laws take a “one size fits all” approach that does not consider your personal desires and beliefs.
In short, dying without an estate plan puts your legacy at risk and may leave your loved ones without the assets you wanted them to have.
How Our Florida Estate Planning Lawyers Can Help
We realize that there are many self-help resources available online when it comes to estate planning.
Unfortunately, the reliability of these resources is questionable at best. Only an experienced attorney can help make sure your estate plan is effective and able to withstand the challenges that may arise during probate.
Preparation of Wills
Your will is the legal document devising your property to your loved ones. As a result, a properly executed will or trust is a critical part of any estate plan. Because dying with an invalid will is the same as if you had no will at all, it is useful to hire an estate planning attorney to help you draft and properly execute your will.
Setting Up Trusts and Charitable or Non-Charitable Gift Planning
A trust is an efficient way to pass on your estate without the need for lengthy and sometimes contentious probate proceedings.
Our Pensacola, FL estate law attorneys can help you with the following:
- Revocable (Living) Trusts,
- Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts,
- Charitable Remainder Trusts, and
- Other trust options.
Trusts are a flexible tool that many estate plans use.
Other Estate Planning Issues
In addition to wills, trusts, and other will documents, our Florida estate planning attorneys can assist with the following:
- Transfers of Business and Estate Valuation Freezes,
- Probate Litigation, including Will Contests,
- Private Foundations,
- Administering Estates,
- Ancillary Administration of Non-Residents’ Florida Property, and
- Deferred Compensation.
If you have any questions about our firm’s estate planning services, you can contact us to speak with one of our attorneys.
Speak with a Pensacola Estate Planning Attorney
Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon is a full-service law firm with a well-developed estate planning practice. Our attorneys frequently advise clients on all manner of estate planning issues, including guardianships, powers of attorney, and advance directives (“living wills”).