Palm Coast Trust Attorneys

Our Palm Coast trust attorneys can help you create and update your will.

People spend their lives making plans for the future ─ saving money for college, vacations, and retirement. So when it comes to end-of-life decisions, it makes sense that you would make a plan for your legacy.

At Chiumento Selis Dwyer P.L., our knowledgeable and compassionate Palm Coast trust attorneys have more than 40 years of experience working with families to develop practical estate plans that protect assets and clarify final wishes. Trust and estate planning gives families control over the lives they have built for themselves, instead of leaving crucial health care and financial decisions in the hands of the court.

When you meet with our skilled legal team, we will:

  • Review a variety of scenarios that you should consider in preparing your will and setting up trusts
  • Ensure your will is clear and legally sound
  • Properly set up and fund the trusts you need to protect your assets
  • Define your wishes in case you become incapacitated
  • Protect your family from the fighting and stress that ambiguity can cause

We understand that you have spent your entire life working hard for what you have, and we want to make sure you and your family are legally prepared when the time comes. Contact us now to schedule a consultation with our seasoned and compassionate Palm Coast trust attorneys, and learn how we can help you stay in control of your future.

What Is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

When deciding how you want to plan for the future, it is important to understand the difference between a will and a trust, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of both. As an overview:

  • Wills and advance directives define your overall wishes ─ for health care, guardianship, durable power of attorney, beneficiaries, certain assets, and funeral arrangements.
  • Trusts protect your assets ─ to financially plan for long-term care and help your loved ones avoid a stressful and time-consuming probate process.

Our experienced Palm Coast trust attorneys will discuss with you how both of these tools can work in concert with each other. No matter what your age, health, or financial situation, we suggest that you start the process of creating a will and setting up appropriate trusts as soon possible. Estate planning is always easier when your family is not coping with a crisis.

Schedule a consultation with our knowledgeable attorneys today to learn more.

What You Need to Know About Creating a Will

What You Need to Know About Creating a WillWills can be as simple or as complex as you need them to be. However, it is extremely important that you properly document your wishes because your will has to be legally valid in order to hold up in probate court.

Our skilled Florida estate planning attorneys will help you create a comprehensive last will and testament that outlines:

  • The personal representative for your estate
  • The beneficiaries of your estate
  • How your assets should be divided
  • Your wishes for funeral, burial, or cremation arrangements
  • Guardianship and financial decisions for any minor children
  • Succession plans for a family business
  • Charitable bequests
  • Specific conditions tied to certain wishes
If you do not have a valid will, Florida law will determine how your assets should be distributed through “intestate succession.” In these unfortunate cases, the probate court identifies assets and heirs, with no regard for your wishes. The court also makes the decision on who should be the guardian for your children.

In addition to creating a traditional will, our attorneys can work with you to outline your wishes for what should happen in case you become incapacitated. This will include:

Creating a health care surrogate designation, which details your health care wishes in case you are not able to communicate them and names a health care surrogate to carry out your wishes

Developing a living will, which includes instructions regarding end-of-life care

Designating durable powers of attorney, which includes naming financial power of attorney to manage your finances

In the tragic event that you become incapacitated without having these plans in place, the court will step in to make these decisions for you and your family. Unfortunately, in cases where a person’s wishes are not clear, families can be torn apart as they cope with the guilt, anger, and pressure of making these decisions on behalf of their loved one.

When you create a will without the help of an attorney, you run the risk of it not being valid. For example, Florida generally does not recognize oral (or nuncupative) wills, deathbed wills, or handwritten (or holographic) wills. In addition, DIY wills can prove problematic when people don’t completely understand the scope of what they should cover and important details are overlooked.

Don’t leave your legacy to chance. Schedule a consultation with our skilled Florida wills and trusts attorneys today to discuss creating or updating your will.

What You Need to Know About Establishing Trusts

Establishing and properly funding a trust (or trusts) is a crucial part of estate planning. Assets that are owned by a trust are not subject to the probate process, which makes for a much smoother and less stressful transition to your beneficiaries.

Depending on your circumstances, there are many types of trusts that might be right for you. Our knowledgeable Palm Coast trust attorneys will discuss your financial situation in detail, as well as your goals, to help you establish an estate plan that meets your needs.

Some of the options you may consider are:

Revocable living trusts can be a good way to protect your money upon death but still allow easy access while you are alive. You can alter these trusts as your circumstances change, and you can name yourself as a trustee to handle the money, along with a co-trustee or a successor who will be in charge of the trust after your death. Assets held in a revocable trust at death generally avoid probate.

Irrevocable spendthrift trusts can be created to provide for your children or other dependents who may not be responsible enough to manage the money themselves. With these trusts, your dependent would be named the beneficiary, but an independent trustee would oversee the spending.

Supplemental needs trusts, also known as special needs trusts, allow you to pass along assets to disabled loved ones without interfering with their ability to qualify for Medicaid benefits.

Credit shelter trusts can help married couples limit estate taxes as well as the double taxing that can occur when an estate is passed down from spouse to spouse and then later to children.

Qualified Income Trusts are used to help you qualify for Medicaid in the event that you eventually need nursing home care. These trusts are set up as irrevocable, with the state of Florida named as the beneficiary.

Charitable trusts, although not tax exempt, can have many tax benefits. In addition, as the donor, you can still name yourself and your spouse as income beneficiaries so you can collect money from the trust until your death.

Retirement trusts are designed to receive benefits from an IRA or other retirement plan to preserve the tax deferral for your beneficiaries while protecting them from themselves or their creditors.

Pet trusts can be established to provide for the needs of your animals for the rest of their lives.

When you schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced Florida trust attorneys, we will answer any questions you have about what trusts may be right for you, as well as how to set up a trust and properly fund it.

Start Your Estate Planning with Our Palm Coast Trust Attorneys Now

Image of attorneys at Chiumento Selis Dwyer P.L.At Chiumento Selis Dwyer P.L., we know that making end-of-life decisions can be a difficult process. However, we believe that proper estate planning should make you feel more in control of your life and prepared to care for your family.

As you get ready for an initial consultation with our attorneys, we urge you to:

  • Create a list of your immediate family members’ names, addresses, and dates of birth.
  • Note the names and addresses of any former spouses.
  • Write down your assets, along with their estimated values.
  • Collect documentation on any life insurance policies you have.
  • Note your business and investment interests.
  • Talk about who should be guardians of you children, trustees, personal representatives of your will, and hold durable powers of attorney.
  • Outline your health care wishes in case you become incapacitated.

This information will serve as a launching point to develop a trust and estate plan that fits your goals for the future. Throughout the process, our detail-oriented attorneys will work hard to put your mind at ease and ensure your family is taken care of when the time comes.

Our firm is proud to serve families throughout Flagler and Volusia counties, and our attorneys frequently travel to meet with clients in Palm Coast, Ormond Beach, DeLand, and surrounding cities. Call or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation today.

We’re Proud to be Involved in the Community

Chiumento Selis Dwyer, P.L. has contributed to schools and other organizations that have made a difference in the community and take pride in portraying an active role in our community. Flagler County hosts an array of events and we are proud to be a part of many of them!

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