Why Do I Need to Prepare an Estate Plan?

Only 32% of American adults have wills. Contrary to the popular idea that only the super wealthy need estate planning, executing a will is necessary and relevant for everyone. Here are the key reasons why:

Ensures Proper Distribution of Assets

Most people prepare an estate plan to decide how their assets are distributed upon death. You can create a detailed plan of which family member gets which assets, whether they have access to those assets, etc. You can also include details and preferences for medical or palliative care.

If you don’t have an estate plan, your assets will be distributed according to the state’s succession rules by default. Your family can dispute the state’s distribution in court, but it’s a complicated and expensive process that often results in quarrels and even family estrangement. In contrast, avoiding probate in Sarasota can be done with a legally binding will.

Arrange Guardianship for Dependents

Your estate plan can include guardianship instructions for your minor children. You can even include pets. An estate plan helps you decide how your dependent family members are taken care of, who takes care of them, and other details after your death.

Eliminates Disputes Between Family Members

Since an estate plan is drafted by you, it is less likely to be contested in court or disputed by family members. This prevents a lot of trouble for your family and reduces their burdens during a difficult time.

Decreases Tax Burden for Beneficiaries

Your beneficiaries will have to pay inheritance taxes when they receive your assets. You can ensure the tax burden is minimized by working with an estate planning lawyer in Sarasota.

Our Estate Planning Services in Sarasota

Depending on the assets you have and how you wish to distribute them, there are lots of estate planning decisions to make. 941 Law Help can help you establish:

A Last Will and Testament

A last will or testament is a document that records the final wishes of an individual. It describes the distribution of their properties and assets upon death. Details of property division, debts to be paid, appointing caretakers for a minor or a disabled loved one, assigning an executor of your estate, etc. are all included in the last will.


Trusts allow you to decide how your assets are held and by whom until beneficiaries reach a certain milestone, such as becoming a legal adult. Trusts can also be used to determine how the assets you leave behind are used. For example, you can specify that certain amounts will be allotted for scholarships.

Additionally, trusts can be created for pets to ensure they’re taken care of according to your wishes.

Power of Attorney

A power of attorney (POA) can help you decide who has the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated or pass away.

There are several aspects when executing a POA, including the types of actions those with the POA can make on your behalf. A POA can empower others to make decisions and perform transactions that affect your finances, healthcare, personal life, etc.

A Sarasota power of attorney lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of drafting a POA and choosing the individual who will execute your wishes for you.

Asset Protection Planning

Asset protection planning in Sarasota is for individuals who want to protect their assets from being taken by the government, creditors, and others. If you’re engaged in business or other investment activities that make you vulnerable to losses and liabilities, asset protection can ensure your assets are preserved.

Estate Tax Planning

While there are no Florida estate taxes, you may still have to pay federal estate tax for the inheritance you’re passing on. An estate planning attorney can discuss this with you and help you prepare an estate plan that carefully considers IRS tax audits and disputes, gifts, etc. They can help you formulate the best strategies for minimizing the taxes levied on your beneficiaries.

Why Choose 941 Law Help?

941 Law Help attorneys can support the planning and drafting of your living will and other estate planning needs in Sarasota.

  • Our compassionate lawyers will help you navigate the difficult decisions you must make when distributing property and assets.
  • We will inform you of all the available options and help you consider necessary aspects of estate planning.
  • We also have the legal skills and practical experience to implement simple and complex estate planning needs.

FAQs About Estate Planning in Sarasota

Do I Need a Will?

A will is not mandatory, but you should prepare one if you have dependents, family, pets, assets and properties, businesses, or financial investments.

What Will Happen if I Don’t Write a Will?

If you don’t have a will, the task of asset distribution will be undertaken by the state and will, by default, follow applicable laws. This may result in your assets being distributed in ways you didn’t intend.

Can I Write a Will Myself?

Yes, you can write a will on your own. However, professional support from an estate planning lawyer in Sarasota can give you the assurance that your will is appropriately drafted, valid, and executed properly.

In addition, the state of Florida has very specific requirements regarding documentation and filing. A Sarasota estate planning attorney will ensure that your testament is filed correctly.

How Do I Protect My Assets from Creditors?

Here are some ways you can protect your assets from creditors:

  • Asset protection trusts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Annuities and life insurance
  • Protection caps for individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
  • Homestead exemption
  • Family limited partnerships (FLPs)

These are only some tools to protect your assets. An estate planning lawyer can recommend methods suitable to your personal needs and preferences.

Contact 941 Law Help to Begin Your Estate Planning

Whether you’re seeking advice on estate planning or need to protect your assets, 941 Law Help can help. If you’re ready to start your consultation, book an appointment with us by filling out our online form or call 941-265-2733 today.

Great job. Definitely will use them again if the need arises." - Bill Winkler