Compassionate Advocacy, Dedicated Service

A Palm Harbor Estate Planning Attorney With Legal Knowledge And Life Experience

When establishing an estate plan, you want to work with an attorney who is experienced, knowledgeable, compassionate and understanding. Whether it is creating a will, a trust, special needs trust or business succession plan, you need someone in your corner to help you maneuver through the legal complexities of estate planning.

The Law Office of Anne Sunne Freeman in Palm Harbor, Florida, has been dedicated to our legal clients for more than 11 years. Led by second-generation attorney Anne Sunne Freeman, our firm will provide the answers that you need. Ms. Sunne Freeman is driven to create effective plans that protect our clients in the Tampa Bay area. Her personal approach has led to long-lasting relationships with clients.

Wills, Trusts And All Estate Planning Needs

Ms. Sunne Freeman and her team know that you will have many questions about estate planning. What is ideal for you and your family? How can I protect my assets for my beneficiaries? She will provide guidance in areas that include:

  • The creation of wills and trusts: Your will provides clear direction as to where your assets will go, while a living trust allows you to manage your estate while still alive and avoid costly and time-consuming probate.
  • Durable powers of attorney: Effective declarations in health care and financial matters. These orders provide direction for trusted family and loved ones who will make decisions for you in health care and financial matters if you are unable to do so. The former is often referred to as a health care surrogate.
  • Special needs planning: With the creation of a special needs trust for loved ones, you can ensure that they can maintain a certain quality of life. With personal experience in taking care of a brother with special needs, Ms. Sunne Freeman understands what you are going through.
  • Business succession planning: You desire a smooth transition for your business if you die. A clear and concise business succession plan will prevent scenarios such as surviving family members being forced to sell the business or disputes related to ownership stakes.

Ms. Sunne Freeman and her team want to represent you in all matters of estate planning. We are skilled, compassionate and thorough.

Estate Planning Advice From An Attorney With Real-Life Experience Navigating Unforeseen Risks

Proper estate planning is crucial to securing your assets to make certain that your loved ones are cared for according to your wishes. But what about those unforeseen risks that can upend even the best-laid plans?

Attorney Anne Sunne Freeman brings a wealth of real-life legal experience and can help you tackle these unexpected challenges. Her firsthand encounter with these scenarios gives her a deep understanding of offering the best legal services.

What Are The Most Common Unexpected Life Events That Families Want To Plan For?

Life is full of surprises, and not all of them are pleasant. Families can face a myriad of unforeseen risks, including:

  • Sudden illness: A reputable estate planning attorney in Palm Harbor can provide peace of mind during difficult times, from establishing medical directives to ensuring assets are protected.
  • Incapacitation: As people age, the possibility of incapacitation due to illness or injury becomes a sobering reality. Attorney Freeman specializes in crafting comprehensive estate plans that include provisions for such scenarios, ensuring that trusted individuals have the authority to make decisions on behalf of their loved ones when
  • Special needs children: Families with special needs children face different challenges when it comes to estate planning.

Her firsthand experience in this area allows her to provide you with tailored solutions that can address your long-term financial and care needs, including establishing special needs trusts and guardianship arrangements.

Mitigating Risk Through Estate Planning

Anne Sunne Freeman, a skilled trust attorney, employs various tools and strategies to protect her clients’ assets and their wishes.

  • Educational trusts: Establishing educational trusts can support the academic needs of your children and descendants
  • Trusts for multiple properties: If you have real estate assets across multiple states, a trust is one way to simplify management and distribution
  • Protecting parental assets: As parents age, safeguarding their assets from creditors or Medicaid requirements is an important consideration that can addressed with different trusts

While predicting every twist and turn life may take is impossible, an experienced estate planning lawyer in Palm Harbor, Florida, can help mitigate risk and provide a framework for navigating unforeseen circumstances.

Answers to Frequently Asked Estate Planning Questions

1. Is it better to have a Will or a Trust?

A Will and a Trust are two different types of documents. A Will is a Probate document and guides your estate through the Courts. A Trust is outside the Courts, but it is administered much the same way. Some clients do not want their private matters on the public docket, or they have a very simple estate that does not warrant a Trust. One mistake people make is having a Trust without a Will. Everyone should have a pour-over Will that essentially pours any assets that were not previously transferred to the Trust into that Trust at time of death. Then those assets will be divided as the Trust dictates. Both avenues have their advantages and disadvantages. Attorneys take their clients through the options and come up with a plan that satisfies their client’s needs.

2. How much does estate planning cost?

At my firm, I provide services for a flat rate depending on the client’s needs. A basic package with a Will, Durable Power of Attorney, and Health Care Surrogacy for an individual is a flat fee of $500. For a couple with mirror image documents, it costs $800. If estate planning becomes elaborate or is more complicated, it will range from $2,000 up to $5,000. This type of planning includes different types of Trusts, Deed transfers, the basic documents mentioned above, and other documents as necessary.

3. What estate planning documents do I need?

Bare minimum you need your Durable Power of Attorney, which is your banking power; and your Health Care Surrogacy, which is your health power. The people that you choose to take care of you if you can’t are very important. If you have not prepared these documents and you become incapacitated, then you will be in Guardianship Court looking at being placed under a guardianship, which will be under the control of the Court.

4. Do you need an attorney for estate planning?

I have had clients come to me with self-prepared documents which would have had bad results if they would have remained in place. An attorney will be able to help you plan for issues that might not have crossed your mind. Your attorney will be someone that you can trust to give you good, solid advice and write up legal documents that will be correct and valid in Florida.

5. What is the biggest mistake people make in creating their Will?

The biggest mistake often comes with not fully understanding Florida law. Often, this can happen if your choice of Personal Representative does not qualify under the law in the State of Florida. Your choice must be over the age of 18, not have a felony record, and not have a mental disability.

6. Why do I need a Will?

If you have a Will, you will be telling the Court what your wishes are regarding your asset distribution. Without a Will, the Court will use the intestate laws, which might distribute the assets in a way that makes you unhappy.

7. What are the benefits of a Will over a Trust?

This choice will be covered in your planning with your attorney. There are benefits to both. A Will is administered in Probate Court, and a Trust is outside of Probate. A Trust is a more flexible document that allows for more diverse planning. If there is a beneficiary who has debt or has a disability, a Trust may be a better option. If there are not a lot of assets, and the estate is fairly simple, a Will might be a better option. A Trust costs more than a Will upfront, but there are Court costs when a Will is administered. So pay now or pay later.

8. Do I need a Will if I have beneficiaries?

If you do not have a Will, you have an intestate estate and you have heirs. If you have a Will, you have beneficiaries. The laws regarding administrating an intestate estate are different than the law governing a testate estate. In an estate with a Will, you decide who your beneficiaries are. In an intestate estate, your heirs are decided via an Heir Chart established by law. If you have a blended family, this could create some issues.

9. What should you not include in your Will?

If you have a lot of memorabilia, family jewelry, or art, it is best to have a Separate Writing that works with the Will. There should be a clause in the Will allowing you to have a Separate Writing in which you can distribute items to people of your choosing. You write this out naming the item and the person. Once the list is done, you sign and date it. Then provide a copy to your attorney to be placed with your Will. If you should decide to change the Separate Writing, then start all over again. Do not cross things out and redistribute. It can often cause hurt feelings and fighting. Any time you rewrite it, remember to share the new copy with your attorney.

Free Estate Planning Consultations In Palm Harbor, Florida

You need an experienced legal ally when considering an estate plan. The Law Office of Anne Sunne Freeman in Palm Harbor, Florida, has guided clients for more than 11 years in the Tampa Bay area. For a free initial consultation, contact our law firm by completing this online form or calling 727-361-2472.

Suggested Reading

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Encouraging your parents to create an estate plan

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