Estate Planning Guidance You Can Rely On, Now and In The Future
Estate planning can be an uncomfortable topic because no one likes to think about their own mortality or the difficulties of aging. But with the help of a good attorney, planning for the future doesn’t need to be scary or even inconvenient. In Tampa and surrounding areas of Florida, the easy choice in estate planning assistance is D. Christopher Alfonso, P.L.
My practice focuses on estate law matters, and I believe in building long-term relationships with clients and their families. Even after I create their estate plan, clients often stay in touch for years for ongoing legal guidance and counsel. I can do the same for you.
The Core Elements Of Most Estate Plans
Each estate plan should be unique and customized to the individual named in it. That being said, many estate plans contain these important elements:
A will and one or more trusts: Wills are often the cornerstone of a complete estate plan. They list all your assets and provide important directions for who should inherit them when you pass. Trusts are more complex, but they can also give you greater control over the manner and timing of asset transfers. Trusts can work in tandem with wills or can supplant them in some cases.
A health care advance directive: Also known as a living will, this document allows you to list instructions and make decisions about end-of-life care and medical treatment in the event that you become incapacitated (unable to make or communicate decisions for yourself).
Designation of a health care surrogate: Your advance directive should include a named surrogate, who is an individual you trust to make health care decisions for you following incapacity.
Durable power of attorney for finances: We all need to contend with the possibility that we might someday be unable to act with the agency and autonomy we enjoy today. By designating durable power of attorney for finances, you are choosing someone to look after your assets, pay your bills and make other important decisions if you ever develop Alzheimer’s, dementia or another condition that leaves you incapacitated. Power of attorney designations can prevent the need for guardianship proceedings, which are much more expensive, stressful and uncertain.
At our first meeting, I can discuss all of these documents and legal instruments with you. After hearing about your needs and goals, we can decide together how best to proceed with the estate planning process.
Strategic Estate Planning Can Preserve Assets and Simplify Legal Processes
Communicating inheritance decisions and planning for incapacity would be reason enough to create an estate plan, but effective planning goes beyond those goals. With my help, you may be able to create an estate plan that:
- Minimizes estate tax obligations, preserving more assets to pass to your loved ones
- Simplifies or eliminates the need for probate, saving your family time, money and stress
- Communicates your bequests clearly and unambiguously, reducing the chances that there will be disputes or litigation between family members and other heirs
- Allows you to leave a legacy of charitable giving or make other lasting impacts with your estate assets
As an added bonus, I offer free on-site storage of your estate planning documents. You’ll always know where they are, and it will be easy to make changes and updates over time.
Talk To Me About Your Estate Planning Needs During An Initial Consultation
D. Christopher Alfonso, P.L., is based in Tampa, Florida, and I serve clients throughout the surrounding areas. To schedule your initial consultation with an experienced and attentive estate planning attorney, call 813-321-7354 or reach out online.