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RD- an actual child support client
"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
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Family Law Estate Planning


Family in need of attorney

Estate Planning is a concept that has evolved greatly over the years. Historically, many associated the term solely with the process of making legal arrangements to be carried out in the event of one’s death, particularly for individuals with considerable wealth. However, estate planning encompasses far more than just death-related preparations, and nowadays is no longer thought of as something suitable for the wealthy only. Estate planning has become an increasingly important to persons of all economic statuses, and can serve many more purposes than one may have considered. Our Gainesville attorneys encourage you to explore your family law estate planning options, while considering the valuable impact that such planning can provide.

There are many advantages to proper estate planning—even for individuals who are unmarried, do not have children, or have few assets. Consider, for example, if you were to become incapacitated—would you prefer to have medical decisions related to pro-longing your life already pre-determined? Perhaps, you would you prefer that a specific person be assigned to make such determination for you. Likewise, consider how you would want your remains dealt with following death—you may have strong feelings over cremation, burial, or the donation of organs. The opportunity to decide such matters prior to incapacitation or demise, are just some of the many benefits offered by estate planning.

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Beyond considerations regarding one’s actual body, estate planning can play a far more significant role when family law matters are involved, such as those associated with children, marriage, or the transfer or distribution of property, assets, and personal belongings. Although estate planning is generally considered to be a separate and distinct area of law, it is important to consider the manner in which this discipline intertwines with family law, while also keeping in mind that issues involving families often extend into other areas of law as well.

Just a few family law matters that often intersect with estate planning are:

  • Pre-nuptial agreements
  • Post-nuptial agreements (i.e. transmutation of property)
  • Marital settlement agreements
  • Identification of community versus separate property
  • Characterization of marital and non-marital assets
  • Inventory of assets
  • Fiduciary duties of spouses and domestic partners
  • Revision of existing will upon marriage or divorce (codicils)
  • Revocation of prior wills upon marriage or divorce
  • Appointment of:
    • Power of Attorney
    • Personal Representative
    • Health Care Surrogate
  • Will alternatives (i.e. trusts, deeds, gifts)
  • Special asset issues, such as retirement or other deferred benefits
  • Options for and benefits of bifurcating the dissolution process
  • Guardianship of children upon death or incapacitation
  • Life insurance policies
  • Estate tax issues
  • Planning strategies for unmarried domestic partners

While selecting an attorney that practices solely estate planning may appear to the more appropriate choice, this does not necessarily mean that the attorney is also adept in family law. Gainesville attorney Karen S. Yochim practices both family law and estate planning, and offers the unique combination of expertise that can only come from an experienced Family Law Estate Planning Attorney. If you have a question or concern regarding estate planning in Florida, contact us, we can help.