Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen, P.A. - Elder Law

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Steps for successful estate planning

Florida residents who have accumulated a lot of assets will want to create an estate plan that can help sustain wealth throughout future generations. While this may be a common goal, in reality, wealth is rarely sustained past the children. However, there are steps that can be taken to safeguard one’s estate so that the goals for the assets are achieved.

The first step is to address is how the estate should be divided. Funds can be divided equally, fairly or in an equitable manner. Estate owners generally have a difficult time dividing their assets because each heir may have a different level of capacity for being responsible as well as different talents or prospects for the future.

One solution for this problem, which can be beneficial for estates of all values, is to employ all three methods of dividing the estate. For example, a mother who wants to help pay for her children’s education can let her children’s education goals determine how much they should get. While one child may want to pursue a trade school, another might want to attend a four-year university. Even though the children are likely to be allocated different amounts of the wealth, they both will be given the same opportunity.

An attorney who offers estate planning services may help a client develop strategies that will ensure that all heirs receive a fair portion of the estate. The attorney might advise using certain types of trusts or wills to minimize estate taxes and avoid the probate process.