Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq. is an elder law firm that provides a range of legal services to the elderly and their families. Our goal is to assist families in protecting their life savings through Medicaid planning and planning for incapacity, and achieving peace of mind through both EMERGENCY and ADVANCE PLANNING.
Protecting your assets during your golden years can sometimes be challenging. Working with a qualified Fort Lauderdale estate planning attorney can provide you and your family with the guidance and support needed to ensure that your financial resources and assets are protected during your lifetime and are distributed in accordance with your wishes when the time comes. Here are some points to keep in mind when planning your estate arrangements in the state of Florida.
Estate Planning Is Not Only for the Wealthy
Even those with relatively modest assets can benefit by working with a Fort Lauderdale estate planning lawyer to plan for the future. Items with purely sentimental value can carry the same significance to some of your heirs as major financial assets. Making the right arrangements for the distribution of these assets now will allow you to enjoy greater peace of mind about the future for yourself and your friends and family.
The Estate Planning Services You Need
At the Law Office of Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq., we offer a wide range of estate planning options for our clients in the state of Florida. Along with drawing up wills, some of the most important elements of our legal services involve the establishment of trusts, bequests, health care surrogacies and durable powers of attorney.
Health Care Surrogates and Proxies
If you do not designate a health care surrogate in the state of Florida, the courts will appoint a health care proxy from among your family members or friends. Your attorney can provide you with guidance on the correct procedure for designating a health care surrogate who will make health care decisions for you if you are incapacitated on a short-term or long-term basis.
Durable Powers of Attorney
A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows a person of your choice to take care of your finances on your behalf. The person who holds your durable power of attorney can pay your bills, manage your investments and make other decisions if you should become incapacitated temporarily or permanently.
A Valid Florida Will
Probate proceedings are usually required for cases in which no will is available. This makes all aspects of the distribution of the estate both time consuming and expensive. Creating a will and a comprehensive estate plan is the best way to protect your assets and wishes for your family members and friends.
A revocable living trust is a legal arrangement that allows you to designate a trustee to handle your financial affairs if you are incapacitated because of illness or injury. Your revocable living trust can be adjusted to reflect changes in your assets or your personal relationships, which makes it a flexible option for your estate planning needs.
Special Needs Trusts
Disabled individuals can often qualify for government benefits. Receiving a standard inheritance, however, could render some of these people ineligible for public benefits. A special needs trust can allow disabled individuals to receive benefits from public agencies while providing for needs that are not covered by these payments. Working with a qualified and knowledgeable attorney is the best way to set up these types of trusts to optimize eligibility for public benefits while protecting vulnerable individuals financially.
If you plan to leave a significant portion of your estate to your favorite charity or charities, you will need the assistance of an elder law attorney to ensure that these gifts offer the most significant estate tax benefits. Your lawyer will work with you to ensure the most practical way to manage these types of bequests.
Retirement Plans Trusts
Setting up a retirement plan trust will allow you to provide income for your beneficiaries over an extended period of time while avoiding many of the negative tax consequences associated with immediate withdrawals. These arrangements are designed to reduce the impact of federal income taxes and to spread out the financial distributions over a longer period, which can provide greater security for the beneficiaries of the trust.
We will consult with you in your home, at the nursing home, or our office, to analyze your planning needs. In addition to a frank discussion of your situation, we will review your existing estate planning documents to determine whether we need to make any changes or revisions for asset conservation, Medicaid planning, or other purposes.
Ensuring That Your Wishes Are Respected
Without making a comprehensive estate plan, you cannot guarantee that any of your wishes will be followed in the future. Your will is a legally binding document that provides detailed guidance about how your estate will be handled and, if necessary, how medical treatment will be managed if you become incapacitated. By entrusting your legal matters to a qualified Fort Lauderdale estate planning lawyer, you can enjoy the confidence that your preferences are on record and will be honored when you can no longer see to it yourself.
The Law Offices of Rhonda D. Zimmerman, can provide you and your family with the affordable and practical help you need to manage your estate planning process. Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq. is a qualified and experienced elder law professional who can help you deal with the intricacies of asset protection and estate plans in the state of Florida. Give our legal team a call today at 954-567-1060 to schedule your first appointment. We are here to serve you.