Few legal subjects are as sensitive and demanding as estate planning. Fortunately, VanNess & VanNess, P.A., has the empathy and experience to educate and guide its clients on these important legal issues.

Most people know they need a will or a trust. But the scope and content of these important tools must be carefully honed to reflect a client's unique wishes and financial circumstances. With decades of experience in crafting unique estate planning solutions, we are confident in our ability to achieve results for our clients.

Individuals with significant assets benefit from establishing a comprehensive estate plan. These estate plans can reduce taxes and eliminate long waiting periods in probate court before assets can be transferred. The VanNess & VanNess team helps clients decide if a will or trust is right for them and what estate options best reduce taxes and provide greater flexibility. The firm has substantial experience in advanced estate planning strategies to reduce estate taxes, including discounted gifting strategies, charitable giving strategies, and life insurance planning strategies.

Other valuable aspects of the estates and trusts practice area in which the members of our firm have significant experience include asset protection planning as well as probate and trust litigation.

Creating A Will In Florida

The Florida laws that govern wills are complex and therefore best understood with the assistance of an experienced attorney. These complexities begin with the requirements for a valid will under Florida law and continue through the administration of the will or any related disputes that result in litigation.

Florida law requires that the testator — the writer of the will — be at least 18 years old and of sound mind and body when he or she signs the will. It also requires that the will be witnessed by two competent people who must sign in the presence of the testator and each other.

Accuracy is critical, because a mistake in the drafting or preparation of the will could result in the will being invalidated during probate. This could cause untold heartache for the family members and lead to protracted disputes over issues that you hoped to settle in advance. We work diligently to prepare complex wills with the utmost attention to detail so that you can have peace of mind about even the most complex estate planning matters.

Establishing A Trust In Florida

Under Florida law, a trust is a legal instrument that empowers a trustee to manage property designated by another (often called the grantor) for the benefit of a beneficiary. Trusts are often created to help clients avoid probate and, in some cases, federal estate taxes. But people also establish trusts for asset protection purposes when they are concerned about poor decision making on the part of a beneficiary, or they simply want to help their beneficiary protect their inheritance (possibly from spouses and creditors).

One of the primary benefits of a trust over a will is that its objectives can be carried out without the interference of the probate court and associated expenses. Just as important to many clients: trusts allow the beneficiaries to avoid the burden of probate and, in some cases, federal estate taxes. Whatever your goals, and no matter how complex your estate, we can advise you about a variety of sophisticated estate planning options, including revocable living trusts, asset protection trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, insurance trusts, and dynasty ("generation-skipping") trusts. As we learn about your estate planning goals, we can also advise you about other strategies for long-term asset protection, including family limited partnerships (FLPs).

At VanNess & VanNess, P.A., we offer trust modification and termination services to our clients as well. To talk with us about your needs, whether in estate planning or any related matter, call us at 866-697-6221 to schedule an initial consultation with a lawyer. You can also complete our online contact form.

This page will contain a list of links to organize and provide navigation to information on your website.