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Beyond Wills: The Modern Approach to Estate Planning in Florida

By Howard C. Stross
September 18, 2023
Beyond Wills - The Modern Approach to Estate Planning - Stross Law Firm, P.A.

When it comes to estate planning in Florida, it’s essential to recognize that the strategies of the past might not provide the protection your estate needs in today’s complex world. While traditional estate planning tools like wills and beneficiary designations have their place, they often fall short in ensuring the comprehensive safeguarding of your assets and the realization of your specific wishes.

The Limitations of Traditional Estate Planning

  1. Probate Pitfalls
    One of the most significant limitations of relying only on a will is the potential for your estate to go through probate. Probate is the legal process of confirming a will, paying lawful creditors and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets after someone’s death. The probate process can be time-consuming, costly, public, and unnecessary.
  2. Inadequate Asset Preservation
    Your will is not an asset protector. With proper planning, and not to avoid the repayment of legitimate debt, your estate will be in a position to afford protection for your beneficiaries from their indiscretions, poor money management, and failed marriages.
  3. Taxation Troubles
    Tax implications can erode the value of your estate if you merely have a basic will. Proper estate planning aims to lawfully reduce or eliminate estate taxes, making sure more of your assets pass on to your intended beneficiaries.

The Modern Estate Planning Approach: Trusts and LLCs

To overcome the limitations of traditional estate planning, Floridians are increasingly turning to more comprehensive strategies. At the forefront of modern estate planning are the use of trusts and limited liability companies (LLCs).

  1. Trusts: Your Key to Control
    A properly structured and funded trust offers a level of control over your property that a will simply can’t match. A properly drafted trust provides the flexibility to dictate how and when your assets are distributed, even after your death. Trusts also serve as a powerful tool for avoiding probate, ensuring your estate administration remains private and efficient.
  2. LLCs: Protecting Your Assets
    Incorporating Florida limited liability companies (LLCs) into your estate plan may help in some cases to shield the assets owned by the LLC from aggressive third parties. LLCs can hold many types of assets, from real estate to business interests, providing a layer of protection from potential threats.

Personalized Estate Plans for Your Unique Goals

If you have personal goals for your family (and I hope you do), proper planning that may include the use of a trust, an LLC, or both will help to meet those goals even if you became disabled or pass away. You are different size than everyone else. That’s why a one-size-fits-all estate plan rarely addresses your family’s specific goals and needs when you can no longer be there in person for your family.

The Role of a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer

Creating a personalized and effective estate plan requires the knowledge and experience of a Florida estate planning attorney. The estate planning attorneys at Stross Law Firm, P. A. understand the intricacies of Florida estate and property law to tailor a plan to suit your unique circumstances.

To know your assets will be used to benefit your intended beneficiaries while reducing risks, consider a more comprehensive approach that includes trusts and LLCs. With the guidance of a qualified Florida estate planning attorney, you can create and implement a personalized estate plan that reflects your family goals and aspirations, providing you and your loved ones with peace of mind.

Are you ready to explore the modern approach to estate planning? Contact Stross Law Firm, P.A., at (813) 852-6500 to schedule a complimentary 30 minute in person or phone consultation. Take the first step toward securing your legacy.

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The lawyers at the Stross Law Firm, P.A. invite you to call or e-mail to arrange a free 30-minute consultation regarding your legal and advisory needs concerning business law, real estate, estate planning, probate and trust administration. We serve clients throughout Florida. Find out how we work and how we may be able to help you.