Let's face it: Death is a morbid topic, and thinking about our own death—and the effect it will have on our family—can be uncomfortable and emotional. Even though we know logically that death is even more inevitable than taxes, deep down, we're secretly sure we'll be the first human to beat the odds and live forever. So, we avoid estate planning like the plague.

Then, something happens—a loved one passes away, there's a birth in the family, or someone has a heart attack or is diagnosed with cancer—and, suddenly, we're reminded just how fragile and fleeting life really is. Nobody lives forever, and tomorrow is promised to no one. It's important to seize the opportunity to get your affairs in order while you still have the chance. If not for your sake, for the sake of your family.

At the Law Office of Andrew G. Rosenberg, P.A., we understand just how hard it is to lose someone you love, and how petty infighting and legal wrangling among surviving family members can make the entire experience even more painful. Not the kind of lasting legacy you want to leave? Let our astute attorney work with you to craft a custom estate plan that simplifies the legal aspects of your death for your loved ones, so they can focus on making it through the grieving process.

Are you considering planning your estate in Florida? Here's what you should know—and how our firm can help.

Dying Intestate: Don't Get Caught With Your Pants Down

In Florida, if you die without an estate plan—known as “dying intestate”—everything in your estate is subject to probate. This court-supervised process identifies your assets, pays your outstanding debts, and distributes the remaining assets to your beneficiaries according to state law and a judge's discretion. Probate can be long, grueling, and expensive. Your family may spend a good portion of their inheritance on attorneys fees and court costs alone. If you hire the Law Office of Andrew G. Rosenberg, P.A. to craft a comprehensive estate plan, using the law to shield your assets from probate—and your family from unnecessary heartache—will be one of our main objectives. 

Need a One-Stop Shop for All of Your Estate-Planning Needs? You've Come to the Right Place 

Our adept attorney handles a broad range of estate planning case types. We can help you with:

  • Wills
  • Probate
  • Revocable trusts
  • Special needs trusts
  • Durable powers of attorney 
  • Health care surrogates
  • Living wills
  • Joint tenancy with rights of survivorship
  • And much more.

Where There's a Will, There's a Pricey and Protracted Probate Process 

Most people's knowledge of estate planning is limited to what they've seen on television or in movies. As a result, people often think that wills are the ultimate estate planning tool and that, if you have a will, your estate is protected from probate. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. Wills are actually guaranteed to go through the probate process. While that may be good for the lawyers waiting to profit off of exorbitant probate attorneys fees, it definitely isn't in the best interests of your beneficiaries. 

What You Need to Know About Revocable Trusts and Pour-Over Wills 

Forget traditional wills. If your goal is avoiding probate, revocable trusts and pour-over wills are two of the most valuable tools in your estate-planning toolbox. Here's an example to illustrate what makes them so special.

Imagine you're cleaning out your office. Sitting on your desk is a large box—that's your revocable trust. Everything you put in the box (your trust) is protected from the probate process. 

Worried you might forget to put something important into the box? That's where a pour-over will comes in. This important legal document is one of those things that you hope you won't need, but want to have just in case. Essentially, a pour-over will says that if you die having inadvertently left an asset out of your trust, that asset can be poured over (and into) the trust like a cup of water over the box in our example. Brilliant!

Request a Complimentary and Hassle-Free Estate Planning Consultation 

When planning your estate, it's important to understand your legal rights and options. That's why, at the Law Office of Andrew G. Rosenberg, P.A., we offer prospective clients a free initial consultation so we can walk them through their choices and discuss how best to proceed. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.