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Estate Planning

West Palm Beach Firm Offers Effective Estate Planning Advice

Knowledgeable Florida attorneys protect and transfer clients’ assets

Regardless of your age or financial circumstances, proper estate planning is necessary to enforce your wishes and protect your family. At Vassallo, Bilotta & Davis, our South Florida attorneys have more than 100 years of combined legal experience. Working out of offices in West Palm Beach and Stuart, we assist clients with the preparation of wills, trusts, advance medical directives and other legal documents. If you are an estate representative or are considering challenging a will, we can explain your rights and represent you in probate proceedings.

Dedicated Stuart lawyers provide detailed counsel on wills

A will is a legal document that contains instructions on how an individual’s property and assets are to be distributed after the death of the individual. Our firm delivers comprehensive guidance to South Florida clients on key issues associated with the will drafting process:

  • Avoiding intestacy — If you pass away without creating a valid will, the disposition of your assets will be determined by Florida intestacy laws. By executing a legal document, you get to choose who will receive your property upon your death.
  • Legal requirements — A legal will must be written and notarized, and it must be witnessed by two independent parties. We work closely with clients to ensure that instructions are clear and that special intentions, such as charitable bequests, are included within the document.
  • Guardianship instructions — Individuals responsible for minor children or disabled adults have a moral obligation to make appropriate plans for their care. We advise clients on establishing a guardianship so that their loved ones are protected in the event of an untimely death.

During a free initial consultation, we will engage in a detailed discussion of your assets and estate planning goals so that you understand the importance of having a valid and well-drafted will.

Seasoned advisers help to establish trusts suited to specific needs

Trusts are legal instruments that help individuals transfer their assets outside the probate process. By avoiding this often-lengthy procedure, your estate will remain private, and property will pass more quickly to your beneficiaries. Unlike a will, which goes into effect after you pass away, a revocable living trust can serve as a helpful estate planning tool both before and after your death. In these arrangements, the trust creator retains access to the assets throughout their lifetime. We also assist with pour-over wills that accompany revocable trusts. Through these documents, any assets not specifically included in the trust are transferred into it upon your death and distributed to the trust beneficiaries you named while alive.

Experienced attorneys guide clients through the probate process

Settling an estate can be a difficult task that comes at an already tough time. Our firm advises executors and beneficiaries on enforcing will instructions and distributing assets. Florida estates with a value of at least $75,000 must go through a formal probate process. We assist with each associated task, including gathering assets, paying estate expenses and distributing property in accordance with the will terms and relevant laws. If a will contest occurs, we advocate for both estate representatives and potential heirs.

Law firm creates living wills and powers of attorney to control key decisions

Effective estate planning involves more than shifting assets at the time of death. It is also important to issue clear directions on medical and financial issues through legal instruments such as:

  • Living wills — These documents specify your preferred medical treatment and whether you wish extraordinary measures to be taken should you become unable to act on your own behalf due to an injury or illness.
  • Healthcare surrogacy documents — A healthcare surrogate is usually a family member or very close friend whom you appoint to make medical decisions on your behalf if you lose the ability to decide for yourself.
  • Powers of attorney — We prepare power of attorney documents to appoint a trusted person to assist you with various tasks while you are still alive. You can give as much or as little control to this person as you wish. These arrangements usually cover matters such as finances, business operations and bill paying.

No matter what type of medical or financial arrangements you’re considering, we will give you the professional assistance and peace of mind that you deserve.

Contact an effective Florida estate planning lawyer for a free initial consultation

Vassallo, Bilotta & Davis advises South Florida individuals and families on all types of estate planning issues. Please call 561-471-2800 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation at one of our offices, located in West Palm Beach and Stuart.

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Our Office
  • West Palm Beach Office
    2001 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
    Suite 204
    West Palm Beach, Florida 33409
    Phone: 561-471-2800
    Fax: 561-471-2818
  • Stuart Office
    50 E. Ocean Blvd.
    Stuart, Florida 34994
    Phone: 772-221-8262
Verdicts & Settlements
  • "$3,200,000 -- Motorcycle crash causing abdominal injuries* Defendant who was driving a van which struck our client only had $10,000 insurance coverage. Due to the failure of the insurer to timely resolve the case we obtained a settlement of 3.2 million."

  • "$2,156,249 -- Slip & fall causing low back injuries* Defendant grocery store put out wet floor signs due to a leaking freezer. Client fell while walking down the aisle. Defendant claimed client was 100% at fault. A jury found no responsibility on the client and awarded over 2.1 million in damages."

  • "$1,550,000 -- Tractor Trailor crash causing back injuries * Defendant trucking company claimed their driver was not at fault for a crash on I-95 and blamed a phantom vehicle After a trial the jury awarded our client over 1.5 million in damages."

  • "$1,417,937 -- Car crash causing injuries to an elderly couple.* Defendant claimed the husband who was 83 years old violated defendant's right of way. After a trial the jury awarded the husband and wife over 1.4 million."

  • "$1,000,000 -- Full-size Pickup Truck striking the back of client's car* Defendant denied liability claiming they were pushed from behind into our client. The case settled after a 2 week trial, while the jury was out deliberating."