Estate Planning & Probate

A Holistic Approach to Florida Estate Planning and Probate

There is rarely anything “common” about estate planning. Each client comes to us with a lifetime of experiences and a broad range of work and family history. Despite that, our clients usually have in common a desire to minimize complexity and expense after their deaths, and a wish to ensure that their loved ones do not face additional burdens caused by a lack of proper planning. After all, building up your estate over a lifetime is quite an accomplishment and one that you should rightly be proud of.

That’s why, no matter the size of your estate, it is important to do everything you can to protect it as you get older. Effective estate planning and probate will help to minimize the amount of taxes that your loved ones have to pay on the estate, keep your assets available as you need them, ensure all your belongings go where you want them, and much more.

Why Choose Us?

We employ a holistic approach to estate planning and probate. This means that we really get to know our clients and their personal/financial positions in order to better help them attain their goals so as to safeguard not only their assets, but their loved ones as well. When we know a client personally, we are better positioned to make suggestions that result in a better plan. In fact, most of our clients come to us having been referred by a friend or an existing client, which makes this process smoother.

Furthermore, we are fortunate that many of our are clients are members of the LGBTQ community, who have historically been a group for whom estate planning has been a patchwork of documents that don’t quite meet their needs. Due to a lack of legal status, and in many cases, an outright animus directed toward gay people, traditional estate planning until recently has been distinctly anti-LGBTQ. Lawyers attempting to provide protection for LGBTQ clients and their partners and loved ones have been required to use methods and documents that far exceeded those necessary for heterosexual clients. Our office provides an environment that is not simply tolerant, but warm and welcoming and respectful.

We sometimes joke that we are more psychologists than lawyers—and there is some truth to this. Being able to properly listen to our clients helps us provide them with the feedback necessary to make sound financial and estate planning decisions. We believe that regardless of advanced age or disability, all of our clients have the fundamental right to make their own decisions for as long as they are competent to do so.

Get to Know Our Process and What to Expect

Our estate planning process consists of an introductory meeting to get to know the client and for us to make an initial assessment. What are your wishes for your estate? What factors are present that could affect your documents in the future? These factors may include whether you are being pressured or influenced by another party, or whether obvious mental or emotional disabilities are present. The issue of whether you feel that there is a likelihood of your documents being challenged by someone in the future is also a factor. We will go over all of this (and more) with you in that meeting.

Then, after the initial meeting, we draft the documents and provide the draft to the client via e-mail or other means. This way, you can review the language in the documents at your leisure. This streamlines the process, and gives you the opportunity to ask questions or make changes prior to the documents being signed.

Our commitment is in taking the time to ensure we really understand everything so that you receive the best possible estate plan.

Book Your Free Consultation Today

Whenever we take on new estate planning clients, we make it a priority to really get to know them. This starts with a free, no-obligation consultation where you will meet Attorney Paul Schlegel and his legal team to discuss your goals, your needs, and much more. Contact us to schedule your consultation today.