Estate Planning is not only for the rich. Everyone needs a will, which should be reviewed every 5 years. In Florida, a will with a revocable trust is the best way to lower expenses, save time, and assure privacy when passing assets at death by avoiding Probate. Health care directives are important, even if you have no assets, to assure that the medical care you receive will be in keeping with your philosophy and wishes. Decisions about who will become guardians of your children or dependents should be made by you, and not by a judge if something happens to you. Planning your estate is a responsibility that you may have postponed. You will find it satisfying to sit in Israel Sands' sun-filled office on South Beach, where you can discuss the needs of your heirs and the legacy that you want to create for them. Israel is also available for meetings at your home or office.
If you have young children, and own life insurance to assure their education and future in case something happens to you, it is vital that you create a trust and name it as the beneficiary of your insurance policy (never your children, who would come into serious money at an age when they are too young to manage it properly).
Israel Sands' approach to Estate Planning, rated "AV" (highest rating) by Martindale-Hubbell, emphasizes flexibility and forethought. This is in response to how quickly situations change, and how priorities may need to be adjusted without having to recast the entire estate plan. The approach is people-centered: sometimes the optimal estate plan is not the best tax solution; the priority is getting the right amount of the right assets to the right heirs, at the right time - and not before. Larger assets are best protected by being held in trust, safe from predators but available to beneficiaries as long as they do not have creditor or substance abuse issues. This protects both the assets and the beneficiaries.
Israel believes that family unity and personal relationships are more important to conserve and foster than wealth. At first sight, the perfect trustee for a sibling who is financially irresponsible might be a sibling who is a financial genius, but Israel would prefer an institutional trustee, whose investment skills may not even be as good as the sibling’s; but Israel is unwilling to risk the integrity of a fraternal relationship just for greater return on investment. Complex family situations with second or later spouses, marriages with mixed children, and nontraditional family units require a carefully considered trust or will so that heirs will respect each other and the memory of their ancestor.