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estate planning for individuals

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Estate Planning for Individuals

Our estate plan for individuals is essential to protecting your quality of life in your later years. Secure your legacy and appoint a trusted proxy with an individual-focused estate plan including:

  • Last will and testament with a testamentary trust
  • Power of attorney for property
  • Power of attorney for healthcare
  • Living will
  • Initial consultation
  • One in-person meeting to review first drafts
  • One signing ceremony
  • Second set of original documents

This is a no-obligation order. No payment information required. Our Attorney reviewes each request to ensure we do not have a conflict of interest with any other client before accepting any new client. Prices are our good faith estimates base on projects we have completed in the past. We reserve the right to decline any project for any reason. No Attorney-Client relationship is formed until we have a written agreement any client indiciating as such.

Verified Reviews

FL Patel Law has helped me start my business and served as a wonderful reference to lean on when any legal manner or council and/or general advice was needed. There has always been multiple options put forward with pros and cons of each business decisions given. Kalpesh and his team are trustworthy and reliable. I like that I can shoot him an email and get a prompt response. Highly recommended. I’m glad they are on my team.

Leighton P.
Leighton P.

I used Kal instead of Legal Zoom for a LLC formation. I will never use Legal Zoom again. Thorough, personal service, Kal answers all your questions and, most importantly, asks you questions that you probably did not think about. It is important to get it right from the beginning.

Anthony O.
Anthony O.

Kal is professional, organized, friendly and is a wealth of knowledge for a start-up business. He helped me figure out how to launch my product the RIGHT way. He had step-by-step advice on how to take it from a prototype to selling it online. He also had advice on patent research and knew where to send me for SBA loans. I would highly recommend him as a business attorney. It’s better to have help at the beginning to make sure you do it right!

Quinn R.
Quinn R.

How to Get started

Submit an Order Request
Once we receive your order, our office will contact you to perform a conflict check, get more details, and schedule a time for you to speak with our Attorney. This is a no-obligation order.
Discuss Scope of Project
Our Attorney will go over the scope of the project and answer any initial questions you may have.
Engagement Agreement
We will send you an engagement agreement with the scope, pricing, and any other details you may have discussed with our Attorney.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I Need an Estate Plan?

Unfortunately, far too many individuals mistakenly believe that estate planning is only important for the wealthy or for families with children. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether you’re single by choice, divorced, or widowed, failing to prepare for your final years can be disastrous both financially and when it comes to your quality of life.

2. What Is Different About Estate Planning for Single Persons?

When planning their estates, couples typically focus on providing for their children and/or surviving spouse. For single individuals, estate planning is essential because it allows you to appoint someone that you trust to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This is essential to living out the rest of your days with as little stress as possible.

3. What If I Have No Beneficiaries?

Although some single persons have children or other heirs to leave their estates to, this is not always the case. Without an estate plan, an individual’s property is distributed to their closest living relatives or seized by the state. If you want your friends or family to have anything to remember you by, then estate planning is a must.

4. What’s the Consultation Process Like for Individual Estate Planning?

As a client-focused law firm, we like to make ourselves more accessible than our competitors. While other firms nickel and dime you over every phone call, we understand that this is a uniquely sensitive matter and are want to support you every step of the way. It’s important to us not only that you come away satisfied and protected, but that you understand the contents of your plan as well. That’s why we make ourselves available to answer your questions or reevaluate your strategy at your convenience at no extra charge.

5. What’s the Process for Individual Estate Planning?

Your legacy and the future of your loved ones are both too important to rely on free online estate planning templates or so-called “simple wills.” Estate plans are highly personalized documents with low margins for error and plenty of opportunities for confusion. Having an attorney to help you navigate these unpleasant waters can go a long way to maintaining your current level of comfort, protecting the future of your beneficiaries, and planning for the worst. Because there are so many misconceptions surrounding estate plans, we thought we’d give you an overview below.

5a. Assess the Value of the Estate

Estate planning begins by evaluating the estate. This isn’t just about calculating its value, either. While you obviously want to maximize what your estate is worth, you also need to account for potential liabilities, debts, and unpaid taxes. It’s also important to confirm who owns what at this stage and to review any jointly owned or homestead property. Ownership might sound easy to determine, but that’s not always the case, especially for individuals who have been divorced or widowed planning their estate. There are state laws to factor for here, too. By taking on our firm to guide you through the estate planning process, we help make sure that no unwelcome surprises come between you and your plans for the future.  

5b. Decide on a Strategy

It isn’t a plan if you don’t have a goal in mind. An estate plan is more than a simple will – it’s a strategy for moving forward. Don’t treat it like another item to cross off your to-do list. We make no assumptions and get to know our clients so that we can best meet their needs. You can have your estate plan tailored to accomplish any number of objectives. While this usually means maximizing the inheritance for the beneficiaries, you can set up a plan that allows you to indulge in your later years instead of passing your assets off to a living trust.

5c. Understand Your Restrictions

Once we’ve had the time to get to know you, your estate, and your goals, then it will be time for us to review any laws or other restrictions that might get in the way. This even includes planning for unexpected events in the future, such as if a surviving spouse remarries. Our firm knows what to look out for, what can’t be done, and what tools are best for planning your estate. Don’t waste your time on google researching this stuff – that’s what we’re here for.

5d. Explain Lifetime Gifts

Lifetime gifts are a relatively new part of the estate planning process and have only existed since 2018. This is an option that should only be taken if you’re absolutely positive that your remaining assets will be enough to let you live out the rest of your life in comfort after accounting for other goals of the estate plan. These gifts can be made to charities or to your loved ones. There are many tangible benefits to lifetime gifts, which we can discuss in office if it’s something that you are interested in pursuing.

5e. Go Over Living Trusts

A living trust is a document that places your assets into a trust that allows you to keep using them while still making sure that everything gets transferred to your beneficiaries when the time comes. Sometimes our clients come to us specifically with a living trust in mind. However, it’s important to look at all your available options to make sure that you’re with what’s best, not just with what’s most popular. Living trusts are especially useful for couples whose totaled estates surpass the unified credit equivalent. It might be worth looking into irrevocable living trusts as well.

5f. Draft Your Will

A will is what comes to mind for most individuals when they think of estate planning. There are different kinds of wills for different situations. We’ll help you sort through the noise and find the best match for you and your loved ones. This is also a good point to consider:

  • Desired burial arrangements
  • What personal property will go to which person
  • Powers of appointment
  • What to do with the residuary of the estate (the leftovers)
  • The source of income, estate (on both state and federal levels), and generation-skipping taxes
  • The selection of a fiduciary
  • Who should act as a guardian for your minor children, if applicable

5g. Elective Share Laws

An elective share is a portion of your estate that a surviving spouse can claim as an alternative to what they were originally left in the will. This can come out of your probate estate, property passing to any survivors, fractional property interests, certain trusts, cash surrender value of life insurance, retirement plans, and any transfers made within a year of the individual’s passing. This is to help keep the surviving spouse from falling into poverty. It’s important to give us the details of any premarital or postmarital agreements incase they contain anything that might avoid elective share laws.

5h. What to Do in the Event of Incapacitation or Disability

How to handle incapacitation is one of the most overlooked and underappreciated provisions in an estate plan. No one wants to think that they’ll spend their later years unable to communicate or care for themselves. However, it’s important to plan for the worst now to minimize the chaos that comes with unexpected circumstances.

For example, you probably heard about a “durable power of attorney,” if only on television. This power gives someone the authority to make decisions and act on your behalf as your “attorney-in-fact.” The specifics are largely up to you. A durable power of attorney can also come with the ability to make health care decisions. However, you can also leave those choices to another party, known as a health care surrogate.  You might also want to designate a personal representative to receive protected medical information for HIPAA compliance.

Estate planning also lets you decide on whether you want to be kept on life support if you’re incapacitated without any realistic expectation of recovery. This is called a living will. Living wills became especially well-known in Florida after the Terry Schiavo case that lasted from 1990 to 2005.

5i. Gather Your Allies

As much as we strive to be your one-stop law firm shop, larger estates require larger support networks. You might need the help of other professionals like accountants, insurance agents, and trust officers. We’re more than happy to work with your own advisors. However, years of working in the Tampa-St. Pete area has given us a large network of talented specialists to connect you with – both for your estate plan and for any other projects that you have in your backlog.

5j. Narrow Your Focus

Now it’s time to narrow down your estate plan’s scope. The goals you decide on now are much more specific aims than the more general objective we settled on before. We’ll work with you to develop and strategies for achieving these goals, such as:

  • Ensuring steady income during retirement
  • Deferring taxes through marital deductions
  • Minimizing taxes by implementing exemptions
  • Seeking to avoid probate
  • And more

5k. Review Your Individual Estate Plan

Some lawyers don’t know how to turn off the legalese, which can make it hard to stay on the same page as their clients. Our firm, on the other hand, knows how to communicate with people like they were actually, you know, people. Our attorney makes himself readily available to answer any questions or concerns you might have regarding your estate – no matter how small or complicated those questions might be. We explain your plan to you in plain English, keep you updated on any changes we make, and let you know about any alternatives that we think might work for you. It matters to us greatly that you understand the ins and outs of your plan.

5l. Put the Plan into Action (and Update It Regularly!)

The next part is on us. We’ll implement your estate plan so that you can get back to living your life that must faster. We’ll draft your paperwork, advise you on any next steps and how to carry them out. You can even officiate your estate plan with a signing ceremony in our offices if you like!

But our support for you doesn’t stop there. The specific laws covering estate plans change often. We’ll inform you of those changes and work with you to bring your plan back into compliance if need be. Our firm will even make any necessary updates should there be any major changes to your personal or financial situation.

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