Helping Individuals and Families with Florida Wills & Probate Matters
The Kaniuk Law Office is here to provide guidance and help to people in the many different ways the law affects their daily lives. Attorney Ron Kaniuk believes that estate planning is a process that every adult should go through, preferably sooner rather than later. Creating an estate plan involves planning for the unexpected as well as the inevitable. At the Kaniuk Law Office, we take the time to sit down with you and learn your goals and desires for your own future as well as for your spouse, children and grandchildren. Through the right combination of wills, trusts, living wills and health care proxies, we craft a comprehensive plan that secures your future and helps you create a lasting legacy for future generations. Additionally, our estate planning practice includes assisting families through the process of probate and trust administration for smooth, efficient and cost-effective estate administration.
Below is a look at the major components of the typical estate plan, and how the Kaniuk Law Office can help.
The will is the foundational document of the estate plan. Through a will, you name the people who will inherit your estate, choose a personal representative (executor/administrator) of your estate, and name a guardian to look after the care and finances of any minor children who may be left behind. It is essential to have your will drafted by a competent attorney who will make sure that all important details are addressed, and that the will is drafted and executed appropriately so that it will be valid and enforceable in the face of any legal challenges which may arise.
While you can dispose of all of your property through a will if you choose, a revocable living trust is a popular alternative which can be used instead of or in addition to a will. By creating and funding a trust during your lifetime, you can avoid the time and expense of probate for your heirs, and direct how money and property may or may not be used or spent by the beneficiaries of the trust. Also, a trust is a private document, allowing you to keep the details of your estate and how it is distributed confidential. A will, on the other hand, becomes a matter of public record after it is admitted into probate.
Living Wills, Health Care Proxies
Estate planning is about more than just deciding where your property will go after you die. Equally important is planning for your own long-term care, and deciding who will look after you and your finances in the event that you become ill or incapacitated and cannot care for yourself for a period of time. With the right combination of livings wills, health care proxies and powers of attorney, you can rest assured that decisions affecting your health care and financial affairs will be taken care of by people whom you know and trust, and in accordance with your desires. Without having the right instruments in place, important decisions are left up to family members who may disagree over what you would want, or handed over to a court-appointed guardian or conservator whom you may not even know.
Before any assets can be distributed to the heirs named in the will, the estate must first go through probate. This process involves filing legal documents with the court and carrying out a host of activities, including notifying potential creditors with claims against the estate; paying or otherwise resolving those claims; paying any debts or taxes owed by the estate; creating an inventory of all the property in the estate; managing, investing, liquidating or disposing of property accordingly; conducting an appraisal of certain property; filing a final tax return for the estate; and more. These weighty duties fall to the personal representative of the estate, who is often a family member who is inexperienced and overwhelmed with these tasks, while also grieving or in mourning.
The Kaniuk Law Offices offers advice and technical assistance with the important and essential job of probating the estate, helping heirs and beneficiaries receive their inheritance as quickly as possible, with minimum disruption or expense, and in accordance with the wishes expressed in the will.
Call Kaniuk Law Office and Plan Today for Tomorrow
To get started creating a customized, comprehensive estate plan, or to review or revise an existing estate plan, call the Kaniuk Law Office at 561-292-2127.