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Wills, Trusts, and Probate

30 Years of Experience Drafting Wills and Trusts and Probating Estates

Planning to secure your legacy and protect your family’s future

Wills and trusts are the typical legal instruments attorneys use to help clients transfer assets to their heirs. At Timothy J. Sloan, P.A., we can advise you on the best means for you to address your legacy concerns including transferring your personal and real property assets, planning for estate tax avoidance, creating guardianships for minor children, and optimizing your support for charitable causes. We draft precise wills that reflect your desires and can establish various types of trusts to serve your estate planning needs.

We provide a full range of services for wills: drafting, review, amendment, revocation, execution and probate. Our experience in the probate court enables us to provide practical advice for clients of all walks of life.

We also provide reliable guidance for executors/personal representatives. We have probated hundreds of estates over the last 20 years and are able to use that extensive experience to fully inform an executor of his or her options. Our work in the formation of wills also gives us keen insight into how to interpret various aspects of a probated will that may initially seem unclear, and to argue for or against certain interpretations in the probate court.

Whether you are a client formulating your own estate plan or an executor/personal representative implementing a loved one’s wishes, Timothy J. Sloan, P.A. can simplify many complex aspects of the tasks before you. We offer pertinent and personal legal advice to obtain the results you need in a timely manner with the least stress possible.

Drafting a valid and effective will

Your last will and testament provides the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your family and otherwise express your wishes upon your death. A will is the primary means by which you can leave property to a person or entity other than a blood relative, such as a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, a court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for minor children and even what happens to your pet – making decisions that might not reflect your desires.

Establishing a will that is valid is rather simple, but creating a will that is effective takes a bit more work. To be effective, your will must be comprehensive- Covering the full range of your worldly possessions, your deepest concerns, and contemplating various contingencies. We work closely with you to memorialize your intentions completely and instructing that they be carried out in the most efficient manner possible.

Changing your will

It is a good idea to review your will with your attorney every three to five years, and update the will to reflect changes in your circumstances and priorities. We draft valid will amendments, known as “codicils”, which address changes to your financial situation, marital status, number of children, relationships with family and friends, charitable goals, and other general lifestyle decisions.

Establishing powers of attorney, “living” wills, and health care surrogates

What happens to your business and personal affairs if you are involved in an accident, your health deteriorates rapidly, or otherwise become incapacitated? Who should manage your affairs for you, and will they have the legal power to do so? Unless you have granted someone a legally sufficient power of attorney, the answers to those questions are unclear and will most likely be unpleasant. We have decades of experience executing and customizing powers of attorneys, and can fully advise you on the potential benefits and detriments to authorizing such powers.

A “living” will typically sets the parameters for medical intervention should you become incapacitated. This ensures that when you are most vulnerable, your wishes will be honored. Similarly, establishing a health care surrogate enables you to designate someone to make health care decisions on your behalf when you are otherwise unable to do so.

When discussing estate planning options with our clients, especially our more senior clients, we recommend that they establish a living will and, if feasible, designating a health care surrogate and power of attorney.

Trusts tailored to meet your estate planning goals

Depending on your financial circumstances, a will may not be the best way for you to transfer assets to your heirs. Trusts (legal entities you create to hold and transfer your property) can shield your wealth from losses due to liability and taxation so that your heirs can keep more of what you leave to them. At Timothy J. Sloan, P.A., we possess the experience to help you select the type of trust that addresses your legacy concerns and that optimizes your estate planning goals.

Guiding you through every step of the probate process

Handling a loved one’s estate when they pass can be mentally and emotionally exhausting, even when the process was anticipated and planned in advance. What’s more, many people are surprised to learn that their loved one’s will named them as an executor/personal representative of the estate and they have no prior experience with the probate process. At Timothy J. Sloan, P.A., we provide indispensable services for executors/personal representatives on matters that include:

  • Filing the will with the local probate court
  • Developing the best strategy for fairly and expeditiously settling the estate
  • Finding and assembling assets
  • Locating beneficiaries
  • Determining what property can be claimed as exempt
  • Pay creditors and claimants
  • Collecting amounts owed the estate
  • Closing and opening bank accounts
  • Transferring assets from the deceased to the estate
  • Paying current and delinquent taxes as well as estate taxes
  • Valuing, managing, preserving and liquidating the estate
  • Hiring experts, when appropriate

Executors/personal representatives can easily make mistakes due to inexperience, stress and hasty decisions. This can be costly, as executors can be held personally liable for beneficiaries’ losses. We guide executors through every step of the probate process, with reliable, detailed advice, so you can settle your loved one’s estate as efficiently, quickly and easily as possible.

Capable management of probate disputes

Even in apparently straightforward estate cases, there are sometimes disputes between disappointed beneficiaries and the will’s executor. When representing executors/personal representatives, we demonstrate the utmost professionalism in negotiations and in the courtroom. Whether the issue is a will challenge or an accusation of mismanagement of estate assets, we advocate vigorously for the deceased’s estate and for the executor.

Contact us for your estate planning needs!

Call us at 850-769-2501 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

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Office Location
  • Panama City Office
    427 McKenzie Avenue
    Panama City, Florida 32401
    Phone: 850-769-2501
    Fax: 850-769-0824