Wills, Probate

Trusts, Estate Planning

210 South Beach Street, Suite 202
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
(386) 257-3332

Personal Representative

Helpful, knowledgeable, professional- highly recommend!

~ Karen P

I was in a very difficult situation when I received Heidi’s number. I was in a desperate situation in a divorce/custody. And I’m sure I looked desperate and frazzled, but she assured me she would help me. I will never forget the days we spent in her office situating the legalities of my situation and she walked me through how court would be and how I was going to behave. (Which I needed I had never done this before) I behaved like I was supposed to and in all of the court hearings that we had to go through she made me feel like I wasn’t desperate anymore I just needed the right people on my team. I enjoyed working with Heidi, she is my friend and I am proud to call her my lawyer. And just an FYI because if I was looking for a lawyer in divorce/custody I would want to know the outcome…..I won. I am 110% satisfied with the outcome. Thank you HEIDI!

~ Karen S.

ASK HEIDI: What is the difference between Last Will & Testament and a Trust?

Short Answer: Property left through a Living Trust does not pass through probate. Property left through a Will does go through probate. Probate is the court system designed to wrap up a person’s affairs after their death. Probate can take a long time, be very expensive, and for most estates, can be avoided with a little planning.

Why it’s Important: A Will and a Trust are two completely different ways to handle your estate. Knowing the difference between the two can help you make the best choice for you and your family.

Pros for using a Trust
If avoiding probate court is something that you want to you then a Living Trust may be the estate planning avenue for your assets. If a Living Trust is properly written and funded, you can:

  • Avoid probate on your assets
  • Plan for the possibility of your own incapacity
  • Control what happens to your property after you are gone
  • Use it for any size estate; and
  • Prevent your financial affairs from becoming a matter of public record

There are many positive reasons to establish a Trust but do not overlook the fact that it will involve more upfront effort and expense.

Pros to using a Will
A Will is a written document that will go into effect once you die. This document indicates how your property will be distributed at the time of your death. It is revocable and subject to changes at any time during your lifetime. A Will does not have to be “funded” as it acts as an instruction not a “vessel” so you can avoid some upfront costs, but in most cases it will not help your heirs avoid probate.

The commonality between using a Will or a Trust is that you should consult with an attorney specializing in this field in the state in where you live to help you make the appropriate choice for your Estate Planning based on your present circumstances, after-death desires, and the size and composition of your assets.

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