Estate Planning Attorney in South Florida
Protect Your American Future with The Gaston Law Firm, P.A.
If you or a family member have just become a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen, estate planning is a critical next step. Estate planning is an all-encompassing term for the legal devices and strategies you use to manage your estate (i.e. your assets and liabilities) both during your life and after you have passed away. Many believe estate planning is exclusively for the wealthy and the elderly, but everyone needs powerful legal documents such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and more. Everyone must plan for the future they want for themselves and their families.
At The Gaston Law Firm, P.A., our estate planning attorney helps individuals, families, and businesses navigate this complex legal terrain efficiently and effectively. We take into account your short- and long-term goals with the understanding that the decisions you make today will have an enormous impact on your loved ones and legacy for years to come.
As an immigration law firm, we have the insight to guide multinational citizens, lawful permanent residents, undocumented immigrants, and other non-citizens through the estate planning process, as tax considerations and legal requirements can differ in these instances. No matter your immigration status, we can provide the informed and thorough counsel you require.
What Does Estate Planning Involve?
Two central components of estate planning include the protection of assets during life and distribution of assets according to the desires of the decedent (person who owned the assets and passed away). In many cases, a court will oversee this distribution during a process called probate.
A well-devised estate plan can:
- Minimize estate taxes
- Protect your family’s wealth
- Preserve and communicate your values and intentions
- Ensure your dependents continue to receive proper care
- Pass ownership of your business to your successor
- Establish a long-term distribution plan
- Prevent family arguments over poorly drafted or invalid wills
- Communicate medical care preferences if you become incapacitated or otherwise lose the ability to make decisions for yourself
- Establish and execute philanthropic plans
- Avoid the public and costly probate process
To access these benefits, you may need to draft multiple documents and establish certain funds. Here are some of the most common estate planning devices you may need:
- Will—a document that identifies beneficiaries, the executor/administrator of your estate, what each beneficiary will receive when you pass away, and more
- Revocable Trust—a fiduciary relationship where a trustee manages the grantor’s assets according to the grantor’s wishes, often for the benefit of a third party (the beneficiary); takes effect as soon as it is created (rather than upon the grantor’s death) and can be modified or dissolved at any point
- Power of Attorney—grants broad or limited authority to act on another person’s behalf; often used when a person has become ill or disabled
- Qualified Domestic Trust—spouses qualify for a marital deduction on estate taxes when they inherit their deceased spouse’s estate. Only U.S. citizens, however, are eligible for this deduction.
Properly drafting these documents requires meticulous attention to detail and a thorough understanding of both state and federal estate planning laws. With The Gaston Law Firm, P.A. on your side, you can derive maximum benefits from your estate plan.
Services for Undocumented Parents
If you are undocumented, but your children are U.S. citizens, one serious concern you may have is what could happen to them if you were detained or even deported. Your family’s safety and wellbeing are incredibly important to us, and we are fully prepared to combine our estate planning services and immigration knowledge to ensure your children have what they need—even in the worst case scenario.
This may involve temporary guardianship, in which a designated person can assume parental authority and responsibility while you are not here to care for your children yourself. No matter what estate planning device we employ, you can trust us to handle your situation with care, sensitivity, and respect.
Let’s Begin Your Estate Planning Process Today
Many choose to wait as long as possible before drafting a will or any other estate planning document. This delay is understandable, given that the procedure requires us to directly confront our mortality. But estate planning can grant considerable peace of mind—especially with qualified legal professionals by your side.
Bring a measure of certainty to your family’s future in these uncertain times. Give our South Florida office a call at (888) 388-6859 to schedule your initial consultation today. We also serve St. Lucie and Martin Counties.