We recognize that procrastination often rules the day when it comes to estate planning because the process can seem complicated. After all, the prospect of contemplating your own mortality is an ominous and upsetting task. The decision to delay consideration of the passing of your legacy or planning for possible incapacity often will be justified by the thought that you are too young for such concerns. However, our team of Largo estate planning experts understands that an effective estate plan can provide positive financial and healthcare planning regardless of your age. Javier Centonzio has a wealth of experience guiding clients of all ages and from all walks of life through this planning process, so he can set your mind at ease while assisting you in devising a plan that addresses your financial, family legacy, and personal goals.
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) published a report in 2017 that indicated a mere 42 percent of all U.S. adults had prepared documents to indicate their preferred disposition of their assets after they die. When a person elects not to take steps to determine how and to whom their financial legacy will pass, this amounts to a decision to surrender all input over the distribution of the property that one leaves behind. The state will determine the percentage of your estate that will be allocated to specified family members based on a predetermined statutory formula. When you work with an experienced Largo estate planning attorney like Javier Centonzio, you will receive assistance to maintain control over the legacy you have built and ensure that you determine how your property will be disposed of following your death.
The lack of urgency many people feel about estate planning can be traced to a fundamental misunderstanding about the process. Some people think that they have prepared an estate plan because they have a will. While the drafting of a will can be part of your overall plan, the simplest estate planning strategy involves much more. An estate plan can address the following issues beyond the distribution of your property after you pass away:
Estate planning involves an analysis of your entire financial portfolio, which includes your assets, debts, income, anticipated future financial obligations, short-term goals, and long-term objectives. Our law firm will coordinate with you to develop a comprehensive overview of your financial condition and to fashion an estate plan that fits your specific goals.
Largo estate planning lawyer Javier Centonzio can develop an estate plan that shields your assets and offers a plan to cope with a debilitating injury or an unanticipated illness. We can prepare documents like a durable power of attorney that allows you to designate a trusted loved one or friend to make important decisions and manage your financial affairs in the event you are incapacitated by a severe illness or devastating injuries for a prolonged period. We can also draft a health care surrogate designation that allows you to name someone to make health care decisions for yourself or your minor children if you become incapacitated or are unavailable when an emergency situation arises. A qualified estate planning lawyer also can prepare an advance directive that indicates your preferences regarding extraordinary life-prolonging measures like resuscitation, a feeding tube, or ventilator if you have a terminal illness. Directives in your estate planning documents can be very specific and detailed, so we can work with you to ensure that your documents clearly define the parameters of your appointed person’s decision-making.
A Largo estate planning attorney can use a will to indicate how you want your estate assets distributed to your heirs and even to designate a guardian for your children in the event of the death of you and the other parent. However, Javier Centonzio will analyze your situation to determine if a revocable or irrevocable living trust might offer a better alternative under your specific circumstances. A trust might allow your surviving loved ones to avoid the expense and delay associated with the probate process. While a will must go through the probate process in court, trusts permit your surviving loved ones to avoid probate altogether. The use of a trust also can protect your privacy by keeping your financial affairs from disclosure in court proceedings during the probate process. Because there are many types of trusts, our law firm will carefully review your situation to devise the best strategy for distributing your legacy to your friends, loved ones, or even charities while considering tax implications.
Many people hold the common misconception that estate planning is a finite process such that the process becomes complete once an estate plan is implemented. Contrary to this view, estate plans must be periodically reviewed and modified to account for changes in family relationships, Florida and federal laws, financial situations, health status, and other relevant considerations. Common factors that necessitate an estate plan review include:
At Centonzio Law, you can seek the advice of an experienced Largo estate planning attorney to review your overall estate plan and update your documents when the law or your circumstances change. This periodic updating ensures that your financial legacy will be distributed according to your plans and wishes. An updated estate plan can provide peace of mind that your family will have the financial resources to maintain their quality of life when you die.
Our attorney takes a problem-solving approach to developing workable, efficient, and effective solutions to fit your estate planning needs. Estate planning attorney Javier Centonzio and his entire legal team provide personalized attention, effective estate planning documents, and insightful legal advice regarding your estate planning objectives. If you have questions about estate planning issues, we invite you to contact us at 727-900-7290 to learn how we can help.
Centonzio Law, PLLC
8240 118th Avenue North, Suite 300
Largo, Florida 33773