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Estate Planning

Jacksonville Estate Planning Attorneys

Comprehensive Estate Planning for Individuals and Businesses

If you are an individual committed to protecting your acquired assets or own a business and are concerned with its inheritance and succession planning, the attorneys at Heekin Litigation Group are highly experienced in estate planning. Geoff Heekin, Ariel Spires, and Chelsey Pankratz have a great deal of estate planning experience drafting legal documents with a concentration on asset protection, wills, living wills, life estate deeds, durable power of attorney documents, and other estate planning documents for individuals and businesses. Our primary legal focus involves transactional and litigation services for business transactions and disputes, business formations, business planning, and succession. The cornerstone of our practice is to offer sound legal advice, effective assistance, and cost-effective diligent representation. End of life planning can be an arduous and stressful ordeal without having a will in place that outlines instructions to minimize uncertainty, instructions in the event of your incapacity or avoid familial disputes upon your passing. There are many tools that can be considered when planning your Florida Estate: from wills, power of attorney to business buy-sell agreements, business succession limited partnerships and many more options. An attorney at Heekin Litigation can explain your options and choices to best fit your individual needs.

Business Planning

If you own or have an interest in a business, it quite often is the most valuable asset in your estate, so it is important to have a legal plan that can be executed at the time of your death. Poor business estate planning could result in significant estate tax burdens and even asset elimination or the sale of the business, if not properly planned for. Business succession planning that leaves the business to one or more of your beneficiaries can be protected through what is called a family limited partnership. While you are alive you retain ownership of the business as a managing partner and you can elect one or more limited partners. This limited partnership allows you to transfer your remaining assets into the business which in effect reduces your personal estate and thus reduces your estate tax burden. Having a clear succession plan can also alleviate tensions between inheriting parties by designation shares of ownership and responsibilities. Another consideration is a buy-sell agreement that provides for the transfer of the business or interests in a business at the time of the owner’s death which gives the first right of refusal to named individuals or beneficiaries. We at Heekin Litigation Group have tremendous experience creating business plans that are put in place at the time of the owner’s death protecting both assets and beneficiaries.

Wills and Power of Attorney

Every resident of the State of Florida, whether they know it or not has a legal will in the event of their death. Either one, that is provided by the state which determines the division of your assets based on Florida Statutes or a legally written will be prepared by an attorney or other party. Certain legal formalities must be adhered to for a will to be valid including that the individual that is making the will is of sound mind, that proper signing and witnessing takes place, and that the individual is at least 18 years of age. Wills can prescribe the division or disposal of assets, name a personal representative to administer, and in the event that the deceased has dependent children, assign a guardian who will legally take charge of their care.

Power of Attorney is a legal document or written authority to represent or act on behalf of another, in business, private affairs, and other legal matters up to the mental incapacitation of the principle. Durable Power of Attorney remained in effect even if the principal becomes mentally incapacitated. The attorneys at Heekin Litigation Group specialize in last wills and testaments tailored to your individual goals and desires and executed according to the law. We also are well versed in all types of POWs including, general, durable, limited, or special and springing, with each one having its own advantages or limitations according to the principle’s desires.

Probate, Life Estate Deeds & Elder Care

At Heekin Litigation Group our attorneys are very experienced with the complex process of probate, issues that arise and can ensure that the deceased wishes are executed in accordance with their will. Probate is a public process conducted in Probate Court in which the legal representative ensures the deceased parties’ taxes and debts are paid, that any property is inherited with a clean title and that assets are distributed according to the will.  Our Jacksonville probate attorneys advise personal representatives of an estate on all probate issues and can assist to retitle assets. There are limited ways in which to avoid probate court including but not limited to the elimination of all Florida property ownership, use of joint ownership with rights of survivorship, and the use of beneficiary designations or life estate deeds. Geoff Heekin, Ariel Spires, and Chelsey Pankratz are well versed in Life Estate Deeds involving a person’s desire to deed the property to a specific person or group, avoiding probate oversite and in cases where limited asset exists, to avoid Medicaid issues of property ownership. We also advise clients on specific aspects of elder care law involving durable power of attorney, the establishment of health care surrogates, matters regarding life-sustaining care, and living wills.

Jacksonville Estate Planning Attorneys for Life

If you or a loved one have questions about any estate planning issue such as a will, power of attorney, business buy-sell agreements, limited partnerships, life estate deeds, living wills, or even establishment of a health care surrogate we have the knowledge and experience to assist you. At Heekin Litigation Group our attorneys have over 50 years of shared business law experience. We do much more than just assist individuals and businesses in transactional services. We understand that there are many life-changing events that can take place in a person’s business and private life and we are always available to protect your legal interests and ensure your estate planning is working for you in the way you want it to. Give us a call at 904-355-7000 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Even though our offices are located in Jacksonville Florida, we have many clients throughout Florida who rely on us for commercial and business law advice and support.

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