Estate Planning the LegalJourney Way

Serving the Tampa Bay Area Including Tampa, St Petersburg & Clearwater 

While nobody wants to think about death or disability, establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure your well being, protect your assets and secure the rights of loved ones.

There are a number of questions you should ask when planning your estate like who will inherit your assets, who should handle your financial affairs and who will make medical decisions if you become incapacitated?

Resolving these questions is an important part of estate planning. At the LegalJourney law firm, estate planning is not only about providing you with legal documents. We will advise you on how to best protect your loved ones, manage your personal and financial affairs throughout your lifetime and plan for the distribution of your assets at the end of life.

Do I need an Estate Plan?

An estate consists of everything a person owns including a house (and any other real estate) investments, bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, debts and a variety of personal belongings. People who own or manage a small business also need to ensure the business will continue and that assets will be protected in the event they become incapacitated or die. Some people mistakenly believe an estate plan is not needed if they are not married, or do not have a lot of assets while others think that their assets will be distributed equally among their children.

However, if you fail to make the necessary legal arrangements, the courts will decide how to manage your assets in a way that may not agree with your wishes. In other words, everyone needs an estate plan.

The LegalJourney law firm designs estate plans to provide for your loved ones easily, avoid guardianship during your lifetime, probate at death, estate taxes and reduce the likelihood of legal contests.  We also plan for the possibility of incapacity, specifying the type of healthcare you will receive. Planning for long-term care will also allow you to age with dignity and peace of mind knowing that the courts will not be involved in making these decisions. An effective estate plan will also consider who will care for minor children if you become incapacitated or at the end of your life.

Estate Planning Documents

After reviewing your financial affairs and understanding your wishes, we guide you through each step of the estate planning journey and counsel you on a number of estate planning tools including utilizing Trusts, if needed, a Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Advance Medical Directives (Health-care Proxy), and a Living Will among others.

  • A Trust can be used to hold legal title to and provide a mechanism to manage a person's property.  A properly designed trust can be revocable which allows you to make changes during your lifetime, to continue managing your affairs while you have the capacity, and minimize the expense, delays and publicity associated with probate. 
  • A Will, or a Last Will and Testament, is primarily utilized to transfer assets according to a person's wishes at the end of life. A Will also appoints a Personal Representative who carries out those instructions.  A Will only becomes effective upon a person's death and after it has been probated in court. Since probate can take several months, we often advise people to take advantage of trusts and other techniques that will reduce the delay, cost and potential hardship of Probate on loved ones.
  • There are different types of powers of attorney. A Durable Power of Attorney allows someone else to conduct your affairs in the event of disability or lack of capacity.  On the other hand, a non-durable Power of Attorney can only be utilized while you are alive and well and are not incapacitated. Finally, a Health Care proxy is an advance medical directive that designates a person or persons to make health care decisions should you become incapacitated. 
  • A Living Will informs others of your preferred medical treatment in the event you become permanently unconscious, terminally ill, or are otherwise unable to make or communicate decisions regarding treatment. In conjunction with other estate planning tools, A Living Will can offer you peace of mind and security while avoiding unnecessary expense and delay in the event of future incapacity. 
  • In addition to powers of attorney and living wills, an HIPAA authorization form is also required by law to allow for the release of medical information to agents, successor trustees, family members and others who are designated. 

We know that circumstances often change along your life's journey: marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, an adoption, retirement or a new job. Along the way we will be there to customize your plan to meet your current and future needs. Allowing you to age with dignity while protecting your loved ones and securing your assets. 

Do I need an Estate Planning Lawyer?

At the LegalJourney law firm we offer you our expertise and legal knowledge in Estate Planning. We keep track of changes to state and federal estate and tax laws and stay in touch with you to learn about life events that can affect your plan. We are dedicated to providing you with the comfort of sound legal guidance throughout your life's journey and to fulfilling your Estate Planning needs.

Attorney Karnardo Garnett represents clients with their Estate Planning, Elder Law and Asset Protection needs throughout the Tampa Bay Area, serving all of the bay area, including but not limited to Tampa, Brandon, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Gibsonton, Riverview, Oldsmar, Safety Harbor, Hillsborough County, and Pinellas County, FL

© 2024 LegalJourney Law Firm PLLC | Disclaimer
2002 W. Cleveland St, Tampa , FL 33606
| Phone: 813.344.5769 | 888.954.5769

Estate Planning | Elder Law/Medicaid Planning | Planning for Children | Probate / Estate Administration | Guardianships | Special Needs Planning | Estate Tax Planning | Estate Litigation | Asset Protection


© LegalJourney Law Firm | Disclaimer | Attorney Website Design by Zola
2002 W. Cleveland St, Tampa, FL 33606 | Phone: 813.344.5769