Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning – Sarasota, Florida

When it comes to estate planning, there are a lot of misconceptions. A lot of people think that estate planning is only for the wealthy or that it’s something that can be put off until later in life. But the truth is that estate planning is important for everyone, regardless of age or income level.

Estate Planning

Estate planning is the process of deciding what will happen to your property after you die. This includes things like your house, your car, your bank accounts, and your investments. There are a lot of benefits that come with making a good estate plan like making sure your loved ones are taken care of and that you don’t leave a legal nightmare to your family. At Cuturic Law, we will make sure that:

  • 100% of your assets go to the people you love
  • That your property is transferred in the easiest way possible to those you love
  • You avoid Florida Probate
  • Your bequest is safeguarded from divorce, lawsuits, creditors, and irresponsible spending

Not having a good estate plan, on the other hand, can leave your family with all sorts of problems. Here is just one fictional example of what can happen if you don’t have a good estate plan in place:

When Jane came to my office, she had a problem. Her husband John Doe had recently passed from a heart attack – he passed without a plan in place. John and Jane Doe had been married for 20 years and had two children together, but they both had previous marriages…

And John had a son and a daughter with his previous wife. The house was under John’s name and John had no plan in place when he died, there was nowhere in writing that Mary would get the house or be allowed to live in it – even though she helped pay for it and all the related expenses. As result, there is an ongoing battle between John’s children and Jane about Jane getting to stay in the house. Obviously there is quite a lot of family drama between Jane and the step kids, and strain between siblings. All of it could have been easily avoided with a good estate plan.

Regardless of your wishes, if you don’t have a plan or have a plan that doesn’t hold up in court your estate will be devised according to Florida law, which may or may not comport with your wishes.


Being “incapacitated” means you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Incapacity may result from an injury, dementia, stroke, heart attack, etc., and may be temporary or permanent. A good, thorough estate plan also addresses who can act or make decisions for you if you become incapacitated.

If you don’t have good documents in place naming someone in this role, a court will decide who will act for you. It could appoint your partner, but it could also appoint a relative or even someone who is a total stranger to you. The court will also control how your assets are used to care for you until you recover or die. This public process is called a guardianship or conservatorship. It is expensive—especially if your family members and your partner battle over who will look after you—as well as embarrassing, time-consuming, and difficult to end.

With proper planning, however, you can decide who will manage your assets and make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated.

If you don’t have an estate plan in place yet, there’s no time like the present to get started. Making an appointment with Cuturic Law is a good first step. We can answer any questions you have and help you to make a plan that’s right for you and your family.

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