Estate Planning & Probate

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As more companies phase out or overhaul savings and retirement accounts — prudent estate planning has become more important than ever before. 

Working with tax experts, financial planners, accountants, and most importantly, you — the estate planning lawyers at Tripp Scott can help you go from where you are today, to where you want to be tomorrow. Our firm represents clients throughout the state of Florida and provides full and comprehensive estate planning services that range from simple and straightforward to sophisticated and complex.

Through innovative estate planning strategies, we can help you to secure the best financial future for your self and your family. To schedule a consultation or to learn more about our practice, contact us in Fort Lauderdale today.

Estate planning is not just about your assets and possessions; it is about what you value. In simplest terms, we identify strategies that allow you to do more with your money. Working with nationally recognized, licensed and bonded financial institutions, our attorneys will explain the appropriate options and tools available, and help you evaluate which choices will best reflect your values and achieve your long-term goals. Peace of mind will be the result.

 

Some of the specific services we provide are:

  • Simple wills, wills and codicils

  • Revocable and irrevocable trusts

  • Living trusts

  • Special needs trusts

  • Life insurance trusts

  • Family-help foundations and trusts

  • Durable powers of attorney

  • Health care directives

  • Yacht and aircraft ownership succession plans

  • Asset protection and distribution planning

  • Medicaid planning

  • Florida Department of Revenue and IRS tax planning

  • Gift tax avoidance, including income, inheritance and estate

  • Guardianships and conservatorships

  • Charitable giving strategies

  • Probate and estate administration

  • Probate litigation

 

PROBATE & TRUST

Administration

Probate is the legal process by which the assets and liabilities of a deceased individual are organized, addressed and distributed. Probate is triggered when a person dies without a valid last will and testament and a Probate Judge is called upon to determine how the estate will be administered and to whom assets will be distributed. The attorneys of Tripp Scott are trained in the process of probate procedure and skilled in providing not only an expeditious administration of the estate of a decedent, but also the sensitive service that should be a part of the orderly winding up of affairs of a lost loved one.

Litigation

At times, matters involving the administration of a decedent’s estate or trust must be litigated in order to clarify the respective rights and duties of the parties therein. Litigation is used when a last will and testament may contain ambiguities regarding who should inherit a certain item of property or how much a person should receive. It is also used in cases where a trustee may have misappropriated the property of the trust to his benefit or if an heir believes he or she was divested of their rightful inheritance due to unethical or illegal circumstances. In these situations, litigation is the avenue whereby the injured parties (divested heirs, beneficiaries of a trust, etc.) may receive redress for their grievances. The litigation department of Tripp Scott is accomplished at helping heirs and beneficiaries recover their inheritances and bequests, as well as defending wrongfully accused trustees and personal representatives (sometimes referred to as ‘Executors’) from false accusations of failing to properly perform their duties. We are equipped to handle matters from the initial pre-litigation investigation through trial and, if necessary, appeal.

 

GUARDIANSHIP

Administration

In cases when a person cannot completely care for himself due to a developmental disability, Alzheimer’s disease or other extenuating circumstances, a guardian can be appointed by the Court to oversee that person’s care. Guardianship law specifies the responsibilities of the guardian and the rights of the individual – called the ward – who needs the care. Guardianship law is complex and Florida statute decrees that all guardians are required to retain the services of a Florida lawyer to assist in the process. The attorneys of Tripp Scott have significant experience in all facets of guardianship administration, including the initial establishment of the guardianship, the proper reporting requirements for the Court regarding the physical, mental and social well being of the ward, and the proper accounting procedures for the property of the guardianship.

Litigation

In certain guardianship matters, litigation is necessary to resolve simple disputes over whether a guardian is necessary or who should fulfill the role of guardian, or more complex disputes centering on whether a guardian should be removed because he or she is improperly executing his or her duties. Guardianship litigation also covers cases where the guardian is accused of misappropriating the property of their ward by misusing the power of attorney. The full guardianship practice of Tripp Scott incorporates the litigation needs of guardianship work. The attorneys of Tripp Scott represent not only guardians seeking to defend themselves and their wards against the predations of people who do not have the incapacitated person’s best interests at heart, but also the relatives and loved ones of incapacitated persons who are concerned about the manner in which a guardian is performing the tasks of the guardianship. Pre-litigation investigation, trial and, if necessary, appeals, are a part of the practice.

 

WEALTH PRESERVATION 

Wealth Preservation ensures the necessary protection, preservation and allocation of a person’s estate. A well drafted estate plan facilitates proper transfer of a person’s assets to his or her loved ones upon that person’s death. The Estate Planning department of Tripp Scott is highly experienced in planning for the transfer of family wealth in a tax efficient and asset protected manner. 

 

FIDUCIARY REPRESENTATION

  • Trust Administration/Litigation

  • Estate Administration/Litigation


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