Florida Estate Planning Attorney



Do you have a Last Will & Testament? A Last Will & Testament allows you to appoint a trusted individual(s) or entity to settle your final affairs. With a Last Will & Testament, you decide who will receive your assets upon your passing. Also, you can designate who you want to raise your minor children. Without a Last Will & Testament, State law will govern how your assets are distributed and your minor children will be at the mercy of a Court to decide who will receive custody of them.


A Revocable Trust, sometimes called a “Living Trust”, is a popular and easy method for allowing a person to manage their assets during their lifetime, and to leave distribution instructions on how the assets are to be disbursed after death. A “Grantor” is the person who creates the revocable trust, and the “Trustee” is the individual who manages the trust assets (the Grantor and the Trustee can be the same person). The trust is revocable in the sense that the person creating the trust (the “Grantor”) can “revoke” the trust and get back all of the assets. A revocable trust allows the Trustee or a Successor Trustee to oversee the assets should the Grantor become incapacitated. In such case, the Trustee may step in to make decisions on the Grantor’s behalf. This avoids the need for a costly guardianship proceeding. In addition, the creation and funding of a trust allows the assets in the trust to pass to the heirs of the Grantor without the need to go through the costly and time consuming “Probate” process. Instead, upon the death of a Grantor, the Trustee will be in charge of handling the assets in the living trust, including paying any outstanding debts or taxes, and then distributing the assets as instructed.


Advanced Healthcare Directives, sometimes referred to as a “Living Will”, are essential for protecting our clients’ medical needs by allowing them to designate one or more individuals to make healthcare decisions on their behalf should the client become incapacitated in the future. Advanced Healthcare Directives also allow an individual to make life ending decisions under certain medical conditions where the client is hanging on in a persistent vegetative state with no reasonable means of recovery. This relieves the client’s loved ones from having to petition a court for the removal of life support treatment.


Durable Powers of Attorney are essential for protecting our client’s financial interests by allowing them to designate one or more trusted individuals or entities to make financial decisions, including bill paying, accounting, and taxes related services, should the client become incapacitated in the future. Durable Powers of Attorney allows trusted individual or entities to apply for governmental need based benefits should the client become incapacitated and unable to protect their own interests.

Contact a Florida estate planning attorney at Bakalar & Associates to answer all your questions in regards to wills, trust, advanced directories and durable powers of attorney. We can help you today!