“You can’t take it with you,” said Florida Attorney Thomas J. Gallo, P.A. “And when it comes to making your wishes known about how you want your estate (all your earthly possessions) divided, doing nothing is often the wrong answer.”
Writing out a will, making plans for end-of-life medical care and establishing trusts (if you are using them) are just some of the issues every individual should address, sooner rather than later.
“Everyone needs a will or a trust, whether your family is large or small, whether you are single, married, divorced or remarried,” he said. “Everyone should make sure that their assets go to the person or persons they want them to go to.”
In Florida, if you die without a will—called dying intestate—the courts, using succession laws found in the Florida Probate Code, will decide how your assets will be distributed to your heirs. That process is public and often messy if would-be heirs have competing priorities and conflicting notions of what is rightfully theirs.
Did a family member die without a will or trust in place? Gallo says his firm can represent individuals through the probate process, but it tends to be costlier and take more time.
“Probate can take from five or six months to a year to complete,” he said. “To avoid probate, make sure that a will or trust is in place so assets can more quickly go to heirs.”
Located at 2240 Lithia Center Ln. in Valrico, Gallo has more than 40 years of experience in managing complex estate planning, tax planning and asset protection, guardianship, trust and estate administration, business structuring and succession planning for clients.
Business owners in particular want to make sure that their businesses will be protected, he said. “Even if you just own one rental property there are strategies to protect that asset that I can help with.”
The first consultation with Gallo is complimentary. During that initial visit, Gallo will have a conversation with the client about what’s important to them.
“By getting to know a client’s goals, fears and hopes, I can make a better assessment of what they have, what they want to do and devise a plan to help them accomplish those goals,” he said. “It goes beyond just filling out forms.”
Tom Gallo Law’s office hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
“Come in so we can talk or if you prefer we can talk on the phone or via Zoom,” said Gallo.
For more information about Tom Gallo Law, visit www.tomgallolaw.com or call 815-4LAW (815-4529).