Wills, Trusts & Estates
Olmsted & Wilson, P.A. offers a full range of services in estate planning and probate law matters. We work directly with our clients, their accountants and financial planners, and other attorneys to assist in identifying and addressing all of the client's estate planning needs. The areas of estate planning and probate law in which we are regularly involved include the following:
- Simple wills
- Revocable living trusts
- Durable powers of attorney
- Living wills
- Healthcare surrogates
- Formal estate administration
- Summary administration
- Creditors' claims
We prepare estate plans of all types and complexity, and for all sizes of estates. Wills and trusts, durable powers of attorney, and advance medical directives, including living wills and powers of attorney for health care, are the basic estate planning documents. They must be carefully drafted to address each client's unique circumstances and to accomplish the estate planning goals which the client has identified. Estate planning does not merely include disposition of assets following death. It may also involve planning related to accumulation, preservation, and use, enjoyment and disposition of assets during one's life. Thus, our estate planning practice also includes such things as structuring the ownership of assets for asset protection purposes, insurance, retirement and investment planning, Medicaid planning, and planning for lifetime gifts to family members and charitable organizations.
Probate is a court supervised process for identifying and marshalling a decedent’s assets, paying taxes, claims and expenses, and ultimately distributing assets to the beneficiaries. We represent fiduciaries in the administration of estates. Our practice includes petitioning for appointment of personal representatives in estates, preparing and evaluating inventory and appraisements, monitoring the creditors' claim process, advising on homestead property issues, petitioning for instructions regarding interpretation of wills or for instructions regarding actions to be taken by the personal representative, and petitioning for preliminary and final distributions. We also advise personal representatives regarding their fiduciary duties, the sale of assets in the estates, and the preparation of accountings and reports.
An abbreviated administration procedure is generally available if the value of the estate subject to probate in Florida (less property which is exempt from the claims of creditors) is not more than $75,000 or the decedent has been dead for more than two years. In a summary administration, we represent beneficiaries and heirs in obtaining assets which may be passed by the summary probate procedure.
In addition to estate planning activities in drafting a trust instrument, we also represent trustees and beneficiaries in administration of trusts. Our practice includes counseling in the transfer of assets into the trust, the interpretation or modification of trusts, the creditors' claim process, the termination of trusts, and the resignation of trustees and appointment of successor trustees. We also advise trustees regarding their fiduciary duties, the sale or distribution of trust assets, and the preparation of accountings and reports.