Vero Beach Estate Planning & Probate Attorney
No one wants to leave their legacy to the uninformed and rigid rules of the state, or the possible fighting family members can engage in when no estate plan is in place to direct your wishes and intentions. If your loved one died, you probably need some legal advice about how to proceed, but if you are worried the cost of hiring an attorney would be too much, you need to speak with the experienced Vero Beach estate planning & probate attorneys at Markarian & Hayes for cost conscious but effective legal representation. You don’t have to face death and what comes after alone, or spend a fortune to get the advice you need to take an estate through the probate process.
Estate Planning Basics – Will and Trusts
Most people own some amount of property when they die, but assume that what they own is not enough to bother with an estate plan, or that the laws in Florida are sufficient to distribute their property after death. This approach does not reflect the fact that the dynamics and needs of every family are different, and the rules of dying without a will (intestate) are very fixed. This structure may not represent the wishes of the deceased, and more importantly, cedes control of your property to whims and choices of the government.
Depending on how much and what you own, a basic will may be enough, and should be considered a necessity for everyone. For those wanting to take it a step further by keeping control over their assets after death and avoiding tax liability, a trust is an effective option. Whether directing the division of property through a will or trust, family members will see a clear picture of your intentions, and are less likely to fight among themselves over a favored heirloom or home, a situation that can severely damage family relations. As an additional layer of protection and control, trusts are managed by a trustee, and this arrangement can ensure your beneficiaries maintain long-term financial security by restricting when and how property is distributed, a key concern in certain families.
Knowing which estate plan is right for you and your family is where our attorneys can help ensure your family is taken care of for years to come. We can offer options and identify potential problems that can derail your plans, and leave your family scrambling to figure out what to do.
What Is Probate?
The time after a loved one dies is often scary and confusing for those left behind. Gathering the necessary documents to bury the person and paying for immediate expenses can be overwhelming. Once these essential duties are settled, though, family members want to know how the property will be divided. This is where probate enters the picture. Any piece of property solely owned by the deceased and not automatically transferred to a new owner will likely need to go through probate before title/ownership can be legally transferred. Probate is a court-supervised process that allows property of a deceased person to legally pass to an heir. The personal representative is responsible for settling the estate, and must follow many complicated and confusing rules. The experienced probate attorneys at Markarian & Hayes can assist with ensuring compliance and avoiding potential liability if a breach of trust is alleged.
If, on the other hand, an estate is being handled improperly, our Vero Beach attorneys can help you hold the right parties accountable. Complicated legal issues are never ideal, but knowing you have the right attorney on your side makes legal situations much less stressful to navigate.
Speak with our Vero Beach Estate Planning & Probate Attorneys
Your last wishes should not be left unspoken or until the eleventh hour. Let our experienced attorneys help you craft an estate plan that will help your family far into the future, as well as help your loved ones see your estate through the probate process to the final resolution of your affairs. If you have questions or concerns about estate planning, or need advice about the probate process, contact Markarian & Hayes to learn how we can help.