Estate Planning

Estate Planning Attorney

A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows you, the testator (the person making the will), to designate individuals or charities to receive your property and possessions after your passing.

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Estate planning does not begin and end with a Last Will and Testament. An attorney experienced in this field can also draft trusts. A well-crafted estate plan can provide protection for your family, distribute your assets in accordance with your wishes, and provide you with the peace of mind you need. In addition to helping your loved ones, estate planning will also protect you in the event you are injured or suffer an illness that prevents you from making your own decisions.

Florida estate planning is the creation of legal documents that dictate what happens to your family and property. Some documents will be effective during your lifetime, while others take effect after your death.




A comprehensive Estate plan includes important legal directives:


Revocable Trust

Irrevocable Trust

Power of Attorney.

Living Will

Healthcare Designation

Evaluate your circumstances every three to five years or when a life-changing event occurs and call Nater Law to update your estate planning documents.

Estate Planning Checklist 

Create an inventory

Outline your family's needs

Set your own guidelines

Review your beneficiaries

Consider applicable federal and state tax laws and their impact on your estate

Access your estate documents every three to five years or when a life-changing event occurs


1. Create an inventory

You might think you don’t have enough to justify estate planning, but you might be surprised at how much you really own. An inventory is a good way to track your tangible and intangible assets.

Material assets might include:

  • Homes, land, or other real estate.
  • Vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, or boats.
  • Collectibles like coins, art, antiques, or trading cards.
  • Other personal possessions.

Intangible assets could include:

  • Checking and savings accounts and certificates of deposit.
  • Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
  • Life insurance policies.
  • Retirement plans like 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts (IRAs).
  • Health savings accounts.
  • Business ownership.

You’ll also want to list any outstanding liabilities you might have. This could include mortgages, lines of credit, or other debts you haven’t paid off yet. Keeping a written list of your outstanding obligations will make it easier for an estate executor to notify creditors in the event of your death.

2. Consider your Family Needs

Once you have an idea of what’s in your estate, think about how to protect those assets and your family after you’re gone. Family needs to consider might include:

Minor children – Who would you assign to care for your minor children? Is that person readily available to take them if something happens to you?

Special Needs (child, spouse or parent) - Do you have a person or organization you would trust to care for your child or disabled spouse? Will they lose their government benefits if they inherit a large sum of money or assets from your estate or the estate of another?

Blended Families - How can you ensure that your children will receive the share of your estate that you have designated for them upon your death?

3. Establish your directives

A comprehensive estate plan includes important legal directives.

LAST WILL AND TESTATMENT - A will is a legal document that outlines your final wishes and dictates how your property will be distributed after your death. Florida law requires that a will be in writing, signed by the testator, and witnessed by two witnesses who are not beneficiaries under the will. A will is revocable, meaning it can be changed or revoked during the testator’s lifetime.

REVOCABLE LIVING TRUST - With a revocable living trust, you place your assets in a trust and select a trustee to manage the assets for your benefit (and that of your beneficiaries). If you become sick or incapacitated, the chosen trustee can take over and manage your estate in accordance with the trust document. Upon your death, trust assets will be transferred to your designated beneficiaries, bypassing probate in most cases. Probate is a court process wherein the court oversees the distribution of your assets either pursuant to a Will, Trust or the intestacy laws of Florida. There's also the option of setting up an irrevocable trust, which cannot be changed or revoked by the creator without seeking court intervention.

LIVING WILL - also known as an advance directive, outlines your medical care wishes if you are terminally ill, in a vegetative state or in hospice care. It’s purpose is to ensure that your demise is not prolonged by loved ones by medical equipment and modalities that do not improve your state but rather prolong your death. It allows you to tell medical professionals what they can or cannot do to keep you comfortable until your body stops functioning on its own.

HEALTHCARE DIRECTIVES – is a legal document that allows you to designate a person who will make medical decisions for your if you are unable to make them for yourself. This person will be able to authorize medical procedures, surgeries, transfusions, and other medical necessary procedures that, due to your mental and physical state, you may not be able to do on your own.

POWER OF ATTORNEY – is a legal document that give someone designated by you (agent or attorney in fact) authority to make decisions or act on your behalf as if they were standing in your shoes. A durable power of attorney is a very important part of your estate planning documents but it is also a very delicate document that gives a large amount of authority to the agent/attorney in fact. For this reason, it is important that the person you chose is someone you trust. Powers of attorney are effective immediately upon proper execution by the testator.

4. Review beneficiaries

Don’t leave any beneficiary sections blank. If you do, when an account goes through probate, it might be distributed according to Florida intestacy laws.  Unless you have prepared a Will or Trust wherein you have added language to ensure this asset flows to your estate.

Review your retirement accounts and insurance. Retirement plans and insurance products typically have beneficiary designations that you need to track and update as needed. Those beneficiary designations typically override what's in a will.

Make sure the right people get your stuff. People sometimes forget about beneficiaries they named on policies or accounts established years ago. If, for example, your ex-spouse remains a beneficiary on your life insurance policy, your current spouse might not receive any payout from the policy after you die.

Don't leave any beneficiary sections blank. If you do, when an account goes through probate, it might be distributed according to your state's rules.

Name of contingent beneficiaries. These backup beneficiaries are crucial if your primary beneficiary dies before you and you forget to update the primary beneficiary designation.

At the Nater Law Firm, PLLC, attorney Fanny Nater will prepare a comprehensive estate planning packet that will ensure that your personal and financial needs are taken care of while you are alive and after your demise.   Our packet includes a Last Will and Testament and/or a Trust (which one is best for you depends on your circumstances).  Attorney Nater will sit with you and present both options to you and opine on what is most beneficial for you.   Additionally, attorney Fanny Nater will prepare a Power of Attorney (durable, limited or guardianship POA(for a minor child or special needs family member)), a Living Will and a Health Care Surrogate designation.

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