Proper estate planning safeguards your family and assets. A competent estate planning attorney will make certain that your assets are distributed according to your preferences, whether at your death, when your beneficiaries reach the age of majority, or depending on your specific instructions. Making important estate and probate decisions now can alleviate future difficulties for your family. Even if you have a Will, probate may be required. Probate is the legal process of transferring property to your heirs or beneficiaries. Generations of families depend on ShuffieldLowman to handle their estate planning and probate-related needs. Working with clients who have a broad range of net worth, the firm offers secure solutions for the transfer of assets to children, spouses, loved ones and charities through a variety of creative tax-saving options, including revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, generation-skipping trusts, and charitable trusts, just to name a few. The firm also works with those appointed to manage the estate of a decedent through the probate process and the management of an estate’s assets preserving assets and protecting clients’ rights through effective administration and transfer or, when necessary, through litigation.
Providing peace of mind is a hallmark of our highly experienced Florida estate planning attorneys. Primary goals of estate planning include honoring the wishes of the estate holder, removing stressful decisions for loved ones, predetermining funding for favorite causes, and minimizing the impact of estate, gift, income, and other taxes.
Our compassionate and caring estate planning and elder law attorneys regularly help facilitate major life decisions, such as retirement planning, caring for aging parents, gifting strategies, transitioning a family-owned business, advising families through difficult circumstances, educating younger generations, or establishing legacy projects. The team’s years of experience combine the areas of tax law, business, and real estate to offer a comprehensive planning process.
Planning for High Net-Worth Families
High net worth planning requires a comprehensive approach that often involves the complexities of business ownership, real estate holdings and tax consequences, combined with multi-generational family dynamics. The firm’s experienced business, real estate and estate planning attorneys provide a complete understanding of the full scope of family planning needs, including:
- Family governance
- Family partnerships
- Dynasty trusts
- Charitable giving
- Risk management
- Business succession planning
- Estate/gift and income tax planning
- Retirement/liquidity planning
The firm’s award-winning attorneys are considered leaders in their field, regularly presenting, and speaking to business, professional and legal groups on the topics of sophisticated estate planning and how to reduce tax consequences.
Avoiding the court-supervised legal proceeding known as probate is often considered a relief to beneficiaries, as it generally saves time and money and preserves privacy. A comprehensive estate plan is designed to make the transfer of assets as seamless and easy as possible.
When probate is needed, our estate planning and probate attorneys are experienced in court representation and frequently work to bring the best possible outcomes as quickly as possible.
A major consideration our estate planning attorneys take into account during the estate planning process is how to maximize the benefits of the recipients in an estate plan and reduce estate taxes. Estate and gift taxes can eat up a significant portion of your assets. If you have substantial assets, we can help you reduce, or perhaps eliminate, federal estate taxes so that your heirs get the most tax-free money possible.
Wills & Trusts
Wills are widely understood to be beneficial, but there are a host of other important legal documents that can accompany them, including
• a medical care directive
• durable financial power of attorney,
• limited power of attorney
• and guardianship designations
The firm’s attorneys provide a suite of documents designed to cover all known needs and many unforeseen ones associated with estate planning.
Trusts are another common term and can sound complicated, but they are a major planning tool used by the firm’s estate planning attorneys to minimize or eliminate probate. Many options based on individual needs include:
• revocable trusts
• irrevocable trusts
• generation-skipping trusts
• special needs trusts
• and charitable trusts, just to name a few.
Customization is the key to making the right choice and the firm’s estate planning attorneys regularly work with families, financial planners, accountants, and other trusted advisors to provide unique solutions. Our estate planning team has had multiple attorneys recognized in Best Lawyers in America, Florida Trend Legal Elite, and Thomson Reuters Super Lawyer. We regularly serve the Orlando community through educational seminars on what your estate plan should have, planned giving benefits, and more.
Asset protection planning is a strategy for securing assets that could otherwise be vulnerable to court judgments or claims from creditors or ex-spouses. There are a variety of legal mechanisms in place to ensure that both personal and company assets remain in the hands of the asset owner. Asset protection is a strategy used by individuals and organizations to limit creditors’ access to valuable assets while guaranteeing that the property owner does not break the law. Asset protection entails assessing the existing situation and determining future goals, developing a strategy to achieve these goals, and preparing the necessary legal documents to carry out the strategy. Business succession planning, nuptial agreements, family limited partnerships, LLCs, and trust establishment are all examples of asset protection. Estate taxes, or taxes on a person’s property after their death, must also be considered. Our experts in estate planning can help you protect your assets and create the strategy that’s right for you.
Medicaid planning takes time and effort, but it’s an important part of elder law and long-term care planning to guarantee that you and your family are well-cared for. Long-term care, such as a stay in a nursing home or an assisted living facility, is one of the costliest medical bills for seniors, yet Medicare does not cover it. Long-term care is covered through the government’s Medicaid program, which is a needs-based program unlike Medicare. Medicaid is exclusively offered to low-income individuals. The firm’s elder law team is familiar with the complexities of Medicaid planning and can assist you in developing a strategy before you require nursing care.