There are many ways to pass on your assets to your loved ones. Some methods allow you to present the funds while you are still living. Other estate activities occur after you have passed.
The area of trusts and estates can be a confusing one, and it might make you feel anxious if you are afraid of making mistakes. A Jupiter trusts and estates lawyer might be a calming influence who could explain your options in a way that makes you feel more certain about your decisions.
The Florida Statutes have codified many of the legal doctrines that apply to estates and trusts in Jupiter. Some of the topics covered in the statutes include the following:
A skilled Jupiter trusts and estates attorney may have experience in these methods of bequeathing assets and keepsakes.
If a Jupiter resident is concerned about suddenly losing their ability to manage their estate, a durable power of attorney might be an appropriate measure. Per Florida Statute §709.2104, a durable power of attorney allows the principal to appoint an agent to act on their behalf and under their supervision.
In addition, the agent could continue to act in the principal’s stead, even after their capacity to make decisions has been diminished. A capable Jupiter estates and trusts attorney may be well-versed in this type of matter.
People in Jupiter may be interested in forming a trust. A trust places the asset management duties in the hands of a trustee while beneficiaries receive the funds. Some trusts, such as a living trust, can be revoked during the life of the maker, who is referred to as the settlor. Others cannot be revoked or do not go into effect until after the settlor’s passing.
A settlor can give the trustee specific directions in how to manage the trust funds, or they may allow them to use their prudent judgment. Moreover, per the Florida Trust Code, a person may devise their estate for the benefit of a charity. A qualified attorney can assist in drafting a plan that includes the use of trusts.
The contents of a last will and testament may state that a portion of the assets shall go into a trust for someone’s benefit or for a charitable purpose. A will must be properly signed and witnessed in accordance with F.S. §732.502.
Testamentary documents may be revoked, revised, or revived, and these actions may affect the instructions for a trust, if the directions were included in the will. An adept trusts and estates attorney in Jupiter can explain these concepts in more detail.
The courts governing Jupiter (Palm Beach or Martin County courts) are tasked with overseeing the probate of an estate. In doing so, the court will select a personal representative, who then works to ensure that all of the assets are properly distributed to the proper beneficiaries.
A personal representative, also called the executor, may have extensive responsibilities regarding the estate. These include paying valid creditors and taxes, allocating property to the proper recipients, and valuing assets. A competent estates and trusts lawyer in Jupiter may be able to answer further questions about probate.
Local legal counsel can be an invaluable resource during the estate planning and probate process. Make an appointment to speak with a Jupiter trusts and estates lawyer to discuss your wishes for the future.