Wills & Trusts

Wills and trusts are essential legal tools used in estate planning to dictate how a person’s assets and property will be distributed after their death. Both documents serve different purposes and offer distinct advantages in managing an individual’s estate. Both wills and trusts are useful estate planning devices that serve different purposes, and both can work together to create a complete estate plan. The main difference between a will and a trust is that a will goes into effect only after you are deceased, while a trust takes effect as soon as you create it. A will is a document that directs who will receive your property at your death and appoints a legal representative to carry out your wishes. A trust can be used to begin distributing property before death, at death, or afterward. A trust is a legal arrangement through which one person, called a trustee, holds legal title to the property for another person, called a beneficiary. Wills and trusts can work together to keep possessions and assets out of probate.

Wills:

  • Definition: A will, also known as a last will and testament, is a legal document that outlines the final wishes and instructions of an individual regarding the distribution of their assets and the handling of their affairs after death.
  • Purpose: The primary purpose of a will is to ensure that the decedent’s property and assets are distributed according to their specific desires and intentions. It allows individuals to name beneficiaries, appoint an executor (personal representative) to manage the estate and nominate guardians for minor children, if applicable.
  • Probate: Wills generally go through a legal process called probate, during which a court validates the will, oversees the estate administration, and ensures that the decedent’s debts are paid and assets are distributed as stated in the will.
  • Revocable and Amendable: A will can be modified, updated, or revoked by the testator (the person making the will) at any time during their life, as long as they are mentally competent.

Trusts:

  • Definition: A trust is a legal arrangement in which a person, known as the grantor or settlor, transfers ownership of their assets to a trustee. The trustee holds and manages the assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries.
  • Purpose: Trusts offer several advantages in estate planning, such as avoiding probate, maintaining privacy, providing for the ongoing management of assets, and potentially reducing estate taxes.
  • Types: There are various types of trusts, each designed to serve specific purposes, including revocable living trusts (modifiable during the grantor’s lifetime), irrevocable trusts (cannot be changed after creation), charitable trusts, special needs trusts, and more.
  • Avoiding Probate: Assets held in a trust typically do not go through probate upon the grantor’s death, providing a more efficient and private transfer of assets to the beneficiaries.
  • Customization: Trusts allow for greater customization and flexibility in estate planning, as they can be tailored to the unique needs and goals of the grantor and their beneficiaries.
Wills and trusts can be used independently or together as part of a comprehensive estate plan. The choice between a will and a trust, or the use of both, depends on the complexity of the estate, the desired level of privacy, and the specific goals of the individual in distributing their assets and ensuring the well-being of their loved ones after their passing. Legal counsel is often sought to create a well-structured and legally sound estate plan.

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How Much Is It?

PLEASE NOTE:
A deposit is required to book a mediation or 1-hour consultation appointment.

All deposits paid at the time of booking are deducted from the total invoice billed to the client after the appointment.

View the toggle menu for detailed pricing and deposit information for both our 1-hour consultations and mediation services below.

Consultation Fees

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Consultation Fees

The regular hourly rate for Consultation is $300 but the first 30 minutes are FREE!*

Consultations are *FREE for the first 30-min and $300/hour after.

Deposit Information

  • Consultations are *FREE for the first 30-min and $300/hour after.
  • The deposit to book is only $75 for all consultations.
  • If needing to cancel or reschedule, clients must give at least 24 hours notice.
  • The deposit is nonrefundable if the client does not give more than 24 hours notice.
  • The deposit is 100% refundable if the consultation is under 30 min.
Mediation Fees

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Mediation Fees

The regular hourly rate for Mediation is $250 for the first two hours and then $250/hour thereafter with a 2-hour minimum. This rate shall apply to the mediator’s time involved in preparation, conferences, writing memoranda, consulting with attorneys, responding to requests for release of information or any other time including travel spent on our behalf.

For families of modest means, Sandi offers reduced rates equivalent to Hillsborough County Mediation and Diversion Services based on verified combined family income as stated below:

  • $120 for the first two hours then $120/hr. for combined incomes less than $50,000 per year.
  • $200 for the first two hours then $200/hr. for combined incomes between $50,000-$100,000 per year.
  • Reduced rates for families with combined income greater than $100,000 per year and/or significant assets will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Deposit Information

  • The deposit to book is only $120 for all mediations.
  • If needing to cancel or reschedule, clients must give at least 24 hours notice.
  • The deposit is nonrefundable if the client does not give more than 24 hours notice.
  • The deposit is applied and deducted from the total invoice for the mediation appointment after determining income eligibility for the reduced rates.

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