No "estate" is too small to NOT to require some estate planning. Many people think that they don't need to do any estate planning because they feel that what they own is valuable enough. On the contrary, the less valuable your belongings are, in a dollar-sense, the more estate planning can help reduce or eliminate paying an attorney after death to transfer your property to the new owners.
If your belongings have a value of $50,000 and the attorney fees for getting that or those assets where they need to go will be about the same as if your belongings have a value of $500,000, only the "sting" of paying the attorney fees will be much more for the $50,000 estate than the $500,000 estate.
Speaking of your directions or wishes, if you do not put your directions in a Last Will or Trust, then the State of Florida has laws that will direct your property (all assets, not just real estate) for you. For some people, such as couples who have only been married to each, this usually isn't much of a concern, but for the couple, at least one of whom has been married before and has children by a former spouse or relationship, Florida law will probably be objectionable.
In addition to using a Will or a Trust (or both) to assure that your estate goes where you want it to go, there are three other documents that make life a lot easier when and if a person needs some assistance because of being absent from home, illness or disability. These documents are the Durable Power of Attorney, Designation of Health Care Surrogate and Living Will.
Nearly everyone is curious about how much estate planning costs. A 1-hour consultation is $325. If you retain the firm to handle your estate planning, the consultation will be at no charge (that is, the $325 will be applied to your estate planning fee. Whether you want only a Last Will or a Last Will and Revocable Trust, you will receive a Durable Power of Attorney, Designation of Health Care Surrogate and Living Will at no charge. A simple Last Will is approx. $1300. (provisions within the Will for minor children, disabled persons, estate tax planning, or pet trusts are extra). A Last Will and Revocable Trust package, per person, is approx. $2800. (provisions within the Will for minor children, disabled persons, estate tax planning, or pet trusts are included.
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