St. Petersburg, Florida Estate Planning Attorneys

Estate planning is one of those things everyone knows they need to do—and almost everyone puts off until later. People delay estate planning for a variety of reasons. For many people, especially for young families, the obligations of daily life seem more pressing than the need to make an estate plan, and death and incapacity feel far away. For others, the prospect of discussing the specifics of an estate plan is uncomfortable, making it easier to put off for a little longer.

Whatever the reason for the delay, putting off estate planning can have disastrous results. Death or incapacity can strike suddenly, leaving your family devastated both emotionally and financially. In contrast, taking the first step to create an estate plan leads to a feeling of peace of mind—a sense that whatever happens, a structure is in place to keep your family secure and help them cope with whatever comes next.

Personal Attention, Customized Estate Plans

At John Fitzgerald Correa, PLLC, helping our clients achieve peace of mind is our priority. We focus on your unique concerns, and customize an estate plan designed to offer the protection you need. Your estate planning needs, of course, will depend on your situation. We take the time to listen to your story. Then we explain your options and help develop a plan that works for you and your family.

If you have significant or complex assets, or a family to provide for, it is essential to have an estate plan. But in reality, all adults need an estate plan. An estate plan helps you:

  • Control who makes financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated by a sudden illness or injury;
  • Provide for your family’s financial needs in the event of your death;
  • Name a guardian for your minor children;
  • Leave assets to unrelated persons or to charities of your choice;
  • Create a succession plan for your business;
  • Protect the inheritance of children from one marriage while providing for a spouse from a later marriage;
  • Prevent fighting among family members over your wishes or your estate;
  • Give your family peace of mind that your wishes are being carried out;
  • Minimize the tax burden on your loved ones and maximize the amount of assets they receive.

Depending on your needs, our attorneys can help achieve your estate planning goals with tools including a last will and testament, medical and financial powers of attorney, living trusts, prenuptial agreements, and more.

Why should you have the help of an attorney to make an estate plan when you could download an estate plan from the internet? There are a couple of problems with DIY estate plans. The first is that “you don’t know what you don’t know.” An estate planning attorney will ask you questions designed to identify potential issues you might not have been aware of, and help you explore options for addressing those concerns.

Another reason to work with an attorney is that online forms are not designed for unusual family situations. You will definitely want the help of an experienced Florida estate planning attorney if any of the following are true for you:

  • You are in a second, or subsequent, marriage with children from a previous relationship;
  • You have minor children;
  • You are not married to your romantic partner;
  • You own a business;
  • You have a dependent with a disability or special needs;
  • Family members might fight over your estate;
  • You own real estate in more than one state or country;
  • You want to leave assets to a charity;
  • You want to leave assets to someone not related to you;
  • You have significant assets that might expose your heirs to estate tax liability.

Lastly, remember that estate planning is governed by state law, which is always evolving. A form created by someone unfamiliar with Florida law, as well as your unique needs, is unlikely to provide the results and security you want.

Experienced Tax Attorneys for Florida Estate Plans

Our attorneys are not only knowledgeable about Florida estate planning law, they have LLMs (Master of Laws) in Tax. This background enables them to anticipate the tax implications of your estate plan and design it to maximize the assets that go to your loved ones, while minimizing taxes paid to the government. In effect, we serve as the link between you and the U.S. Tax Code. We offer, among other services, a yearly tax check-up for your estate plan. As laws change and your personal situation evolves, the estate plan that makes the most sense for you today may not be right for you in the future.

John Fitzgerald Correa, PLLC has deep roots in the St. Petersburg area. The practice has served the community for over 75 years. We plan to be around for many more, to address whatever estate planning needs you have now or in the future. We want to be your “lawyers for life.”

If you have questions about Florida estate planning law, or need to create or update a Florida estate plan, we invite you to contact John Fitzgerald Correa, PLLC to schedule a consultation.