As we grow older, it is natural to devote more thought to what might happen upon death. Estate planning is crucial to ensure that wishes for loved ones are fulfilled. Consulting with an experienced Stuart trusts and estates lawyer might be helpful when it comes to putting your affairs in order. Reach out to a dedicated attorney today to learn how a legal professional may help.
A trust is a method for a grantor to provide assets to identifiable beneficiaries for a specified purpose. It is managed by a trustee, who may be appointed by the grantor or by a court.
Some trusts are created during the life of the settlor and are revocable, while others take effect after the death of the grantor and are irrevocable. Likewise, a trustee may be given broad discretion on how to invest the principal and distribute the proceeds to the beneficiaries, or a grantor may give binding instructions.
The execution formalities for a will have been statutorily memorialized in Florida Statutes §732.502. This statute states that a testator must sign the will in the presence of two witnesses, who themselves need to sign in the presence of the testator and each other.
Wills may also be revoked, revised, or revived under certain circumstances. A trusts & estates lawyer in Stuart may provide additional guidance on the specific methods involved.
Under Fla. Stat. §709.2104, a durable power of attorney may allow another person to act on behalf of the testator during their life. Once granted, the rights and obligations addressed by a power of attorney may continue to be assumed by the agent despite the grantor’s declining health or capacity. A Stuart estate and trusts attorney can discuss the available options based on an individual’s particular circumstances.
Probate is a process that is overseen by Stuart courts (for a Martin County probate administration). If formal administration is undertaken, then the court will appoint a personal representative to ensure that all assets are properly distributed to the correct heirs or beneficiaries once any valid claims and expenses have been paid.
The personal representative has important and extensive responsibilities, including paying creditors and taxes, evaluating all assets, and allocating property to the correct beneficiaries. Because of this obligation, a personal representative could be held liable for damages if they do not adhere to the wishes of the decedent or act in the best interests of the estate.
The trust and estate laws applicable to Stuart probate are numerous, and they can become overwhelming to someone untrained in legal matters. A seasoned attorney who is well-versed in this area of law may be able to help you interpret these laws and understand how they apply to your situation.
Call today to schedule a meeting with a Stuart trusts and estates lawyer.