Jacksonville Estate Planning Attorneys
Taking Time in the Present to Plan for the Future
One of the most difficult, and yet necessary, tasks everyone should complete is the creation of a will. It can be challenging to assess the assets gained in your life while facing your mortality, but our attorneys have the skill and experience to guide you through this process.
The Jacksonville estate planning lawyers of Tisdale, McConnell & Bardill, LLP provide legal advice and representation to clients in all areas of estate and tax planning. If someone dies without a will, there are statutes that dictate who gets what. Estate planning gives you back that element of control; you decide who gets what, when and how much. Having these documents in place far in advance makes a difficult situation much easier for those left behind.
There are many aspects of estate planning our firm can help you navigate, including:
- Wills and trusts: Again, it is so important for everyone to prepare documents in anticipation of the death that eventually comes to us all. Wills and trusts work to give your family directions to follow to adhere to your wishes.
- Durable general power of attorney: A durable general power of attorney is a document that names an individual that will make financial and other important decisions in your place if you become incapacitated or are unable to attend important transactions in person.
- Health care power of attorney: This document specifies an individual to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to do so.
- Living will: Typically used in conjunction with a health care power of attorney, a living will, also known as an advance medical directive or declaration for desire for natural death, is a document that you can draft that will spell out your end-of-life wishes in the event you are incapacitated.
- Trust planning: A trust can be extremely useful for saving on estate taxes, and/or preventing children from inheriting substantial assets all at once and at a relatively young age.
- Supplemental needs trusts: If a surviving child is disabled in some manner, he or she may be entitled to governmental benefits. If an inheritance goes to this child outright, most if not all of the money must be spent first before the governmental benefits either begin or continue. A supplemental needs trust can be drafted to protect the inheritance while working to not impact the governmental benefits.
Put simply, probate is the administering of the estate of a decedent. Our firm provides assistance in several areas, including:
- Helping to organize the finances of the estate to determine bills, estate taxes, income taxes or pending disputes
- Working with an executor in determining what assets need to be sold, and dealing with that sale
- Educating heirs on the process of probate, and working to smooth over any disputes
- Completing the significant amount of paperwork that needs to be filed both before the estate can be opened and during the administration process
- Working with securities clearinghouses to sell off stocks or other securities
- Addressing litigation brought by an heir that feels they were left out or short-changed in the will
- Working through foreclosures on real property
- Often filed as the result of an inheritance of real property by multiple heirs or beneficiaries, handling partition proceedings where real estate is either divided in-kind or is sold and the proceeds are divided up
A guardian is appointed to protect or manage money or assets for individuals deemed by the courts unable to properly manage the money for themselves. Many steps need to be taken, such as bonding the guardian which includes having an insurance policy in place to cover the assets, the filing of an inventory of the assets and the filing of an annual account. Our firm has navigated clients through this process in both types of guardianships:
- Minor child: If a child under the age of 18 inherits a large sum of money or is awarded a substantial legal settlement, a guardian must be appointed.
- Incompetence: If an individual is declared incompetent by the courts, a guardian must be appointed to both take care of the person’s physical and medical needs but also to protect and manage their money and pay their bills.
Contact the Firm
If you have questions regarding estate planning or probate, we encourage you to contact Tisdale, McConnell & Bardill, LLP, L.L.P. Our office is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays.