Jacksonville Beach Estate Planning, Wills & Trusts – Rock Solid Law
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Estate Planning

John Miller and I have each been on both sides of our client-service relationship and maintain a friendship as well. In whatever dealings you consider with John, I strongly recommend him and his firm, Rock Solid Law, based on the man. Straight up, honorable and brilliant.

Jim Bickerstaff
ALARA Planner at Duke Energy

Preparing an Estate 
Plan with Rock Solid Law is essential if you have children, or own assets such as a home, car, retirement or savings.

Every person who owns property and wishes to direct what happens to it upon 
his/her death should have an Estate Plan, regardless of the value of the property. If you have 
children, have been divorced, remarried, are a senior, are in a same-sex relationship or have a 
large estate, there may be greater consequences if you do not have a plan in place. In addition to 
providing for the smooth and orderly distribution of your assets upon your death, an Estate Plan 
can also provide for the care of your children and dependents (include any four-legged, furry, 
feathery or scaly family members), leave instructions for your end-of-life care, and name 
someone who can make decisions on your behalf in the event of your absence, incapacity or 
illness without the need for expensive and timely court intervention. 
If you die without a Will, known as dying intestate, the Florida inheritance statutes determine 
who gets your property, not you. The inheritance statutes contain a rigid formula and make no 
exception for special circumstances or unusual need. 
The court will choose a personal representative, who may be someone you would not have 
wanted in that position, to manage your estate.

Additionally, the time and costs associated with the administration of your estate will generally 
be higher and subject to greater court supervision as compared to if you had prepared an Estate 
Plan.

 

RSL Estate Planning

Preparing Your Estate Plan

Drafting an Estate Plan involves decisions that require professional judgment which can be 
obtained only by years of training, experience, and study. Our attorneys can help you avoid 
pitfalls and advise the course best suited for each individual situation. Even smaller estates can 
have complexities only foreseeable by the experienced attorney working closely with the client. 
At Rock Solid Law we don’t believe in “cookie cutter” solutions. Each client has unique needs 
and desires and we will work to customize the estate plan that works for you. 
 
While your needs may vary, here are examples of documents our attorneys will typically prepare 
as part of a comprehensive Estate Plan:

 

  • ‬Will:‭ A written direction controlling the disposition of property at death. This document ‬
will address how you want your assets divided, who should be in charge of handling your
estate, who will care for your children and other instructions for the handling of your 
affairs after death.
  • ‬Durable Power Of Attorney:‭ This document appoints someone to assist in handling a ‬
person’s financial affairs. This is particularly helpful to have in order to make sure that if 
a person becomes incapacitated the expense of a guardianship proceeding can be avoided.



This assists with paying the bills and protecting the assets in the event of an absence, 
illness or incapacity.
  • Designation of Health Care Surrogate:‭ Allows you to appoint a person(s) who can ‬
speak with your doctor/health care provider and make medical decisions on your behalf 
(if you cannot do so).
  • ‬Living Will:‭ Allows you to specify your end-of-life care decisions with directions as to ‬
the use of life-prolonging procedures in the event of a terminal illness or persistent 
vegetative state and the appointment of an enforcer who can instruct the doctors/health 
care facility as to your wishes. The Designation of Health Care Surrogate and Living 
Will are often referred to collectively as “Advanced Directives.”
  • Revocable Trust:‭ Commonly used in addition to a Will to provide additional flexibility, ‬
privacy, and probate avoidance. Allows you to specify who will inherit your property 
after you pass away and allows you to fund your trust to avoid going through probate 
after you pass away, can provide an immediate inheritance to your loved ones (as 
opposed to the delay caused by probate), and maintain privacy (probate proceedings are 
public record). Also, a Revocable Trust can be used to provide beneficiaries with creditor
or estate tax protection.

Wealth Preservation

Wealth Preservation is the process of protecting your assets during your lifetime and preserving them for future generations. During your lifetime, the primary focus is on protecting your assets from unforeseen creditors such as a malpractice lawsuit or a lawsuit resulting from a car accident. For people who own businesses or rental property, it is especially important to minimize the risk that a liability resulting from the business or the rental property could lead to the seizure of other non-business assets. When you meet with an attorney at Rock Solid Law regarding estate planning or business planning, we will be happy to discuss strategies for wealth preservation and asset protection with you.

During your lifetime, this may include strategies such as the following:

  • Business Entities: Proper use of a Limited Liability Company, Corporation or Partnership in order to minimize business risks.
  • Homestead Exemption: Making sure that you take advantage of Florida’s constitutional protection of homes.
  • Tenancy by the Entireties: Married couples owning joint property can protect assets from individual creditors if the accounts are titled properly.
  • Life Insurance, Annuities, Etc.: Many types of investments, such as annuities, are statutorily protected from creditors. We can help you analyze what assets are protected and which ones may be at risk.

Wealth preservation planning is also an important factor to consider as part of your estate plan, to make sure that your assets are not depleted after your death. With the right planning, you can make sure to leave your wealth to future generations in a manner that minimizes taxes and protects the legacy you leave to children or grandchildren from the risks of a lawsuit or divorce. It is also important to make sure that beneficiaries who may be young or irresponsible with money are not given control over their share of your wealth until or unless they can manage it responsibly and properly preserve it. After you pass away, trusts created by your Will or Trust, which we call testamentary trusts, can be used to accomplish these goals in the following way:

  • Trusts for Minors: A responsible adult can manage money for a minor and use the money for the minor’s benefit until the minor is old enough to do so for themselves.
  • Spendthrift Trusts: Can be used to make sure that money left to a child or grandchild will be protected from their creditors or an ex-spouse in divorce.
  • Protective Trusts: Can be used when a beneficiary, even as an adult, is irresponsible or has problems with substance abuse so that a responsible third party can manage the money you leave them for their benefit.
  • Dynasty Trusts: Generational trusts that protect assets from creditors and estate taxes for potentially hundreds of years into the future.