Wills And Estates
Orlando Wills and Trusts Attorneys
The law firm of Billings, Morgan & Boatwright, LLC, provides legal representation to clients in the area of estate planning. Our services include will and trust preparation, power of attorney drafting, assistance concerning elder law issues, guardianships, and asset preservation. Contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your particular estate planning needs.
1. How much does an Estate Plan cost?
A complete plan including a will and trusts can cost as little as $500. After a meeting, we tell you what you need, your options, and what your plan will cost. There are no hidden fees or costs.
An estate plan is not just a will or trust. It may also include a living will (this is what Terry Schiavo did not have), medical power of attorney, and a power of attorney for business decisions.
2. Why do I need anything?
Most people believe they do not need an estate plan because they do not own a house or have a lot of money or possessions. However, an estate plan does far more than allocate your belongings. An estate plan lets you decide how you want to be treated. It lets you name someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
The alternative is letting a hospital, a doctor you do not know, or perhaps a court decide what is best for you. Terry Schiavo had supposedly told her family what she wanted, but the lack of written instructions caused much heartache, uncertainty, expense, and legal entanglements.
3. Can’t I just tell someone what I want?
Florida law does not let you “tell” someone your wants. You have to prepare legal documents such as a will, trust, or power of attorney to ensure that your desires will be met.
4. Who will handle things after I die or if I am sick?
One purpose of our meeting is to allow you to discuss your particular situation with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer and decide what will work best for you. We do not use a “one size fits all” form. Every situation is different and the law changes constantly. We can also advise you on how to handle bills, insurance, and other similar matters.
5. Who will take care of my children?
This most difficult issue can often be avoided with proper planning. You can select who will take care of your children. You can also have someone to manage money for your children. However, without a plan, the court and DCF workers will decide who will raise your children.
In the case of divorce, the court will have input based upon the dissolution agreement and decide what is best for the children.
6. How do I protect what I own?
Most people will not be faced with large estate taxes, but we will help you determine what the best strategy is for you and your family. The law currently gives a $2,000,000 exemption. However, tax laws constantly change and you must consider all relevant factors before choosing a plan.
7. What if I did a plan many years ago?
The law has changed significantly in the last few years. Family circumstances change over time. Estate plans should be updated to fit your current needs and wants. More importantly, a will or power of attorney done in another state may not be valid under Florida law.
Contact an experienced will and trust lawyer at the central Florida law firm of Billings, Morgan & Boatwright, LLC.