A well thought out estate plan should help grow your assets during your working years, ensure that you and your loved ones are protected from unexpected events such as your incapacity or death, and ultimately provide for your loved ones when you are no longer here. Choosing the right estate planning attorney to assist you during the creation of your estate plan should be a priority. At the Stuart, Florida law firm of Kulas & Crawford we understand the important role your estate plan will play in protecting you, your assets, and your loved ones and we would be honored to work with you on a plan that accomplishes all of your estate planning goals and objectives.
History of Stuart, Florida
The history behind Stuart, and the surrounding area of Martin County, dates back to at least the early 1700’s. Stuart’s history is composed of a rich mixture of pirates, nautical navigation, fishing, and treasure hunts. Florida’s Treasure Coast was initially formed in 1715 when a Spanish treasure fleet was shipwrecked by a hurricane in the area around Stuart. The ships were carrying a huge amount of gold and silver, which would bring treasure hunters to the area for hundreds of years to come. Some of this very treasure has been found, and is the reason for the Treasure Coast’s name. One fascinating pirate story that survives to this day is the story of Pedro Gilbert and his 1832 capture of a U.S. merchant ship. Gilbert often lured unsuspecting ships onto a sandbar off the coast of Stuart, and managed to do just that the day he raided the U.S. merchant ship; however, he didn’t just raid the ship. In addition, he tried to burn the ship and kill all the sailors on board. Some of them lived long enough to make it to shore and report Gilbert, which resulted in his prompt capture and execution. The sandbar that he lured ships onto is still marked, “Gilbert’s Bar,” on maps to this day.
The Stuart area was first settled by non-Native Americans in 1870. A United States Lifesaving Station was established in 1875 on Hutchinson Island, and still stands today. In the early 1890’s, the Stuart area went by the name of Potsdam. This name was given to the area by Otto Stypmann, a local landowner, who originally hailed from Potsdam, Germany. Otto and his brother, Ernest, owned the land that would eventually become downtown Stuart. The name Stuart came along in 1895 when the Florida East Coast Railroad came through town. Homer Hine Stuart, Jr, was a wealthy landowner at the time the railroad came, and was honored by having the town named after him.
Stuart in the 21st Century
Today, Stuart is the largest city in Martin County, Florida, and is home to just over 15,000 people. Stuart is frequently listed as one of the “best small towns to visit” in the U.S. This is due in part to its proximity to the St. Lucie River, and the Indian River Lagoon. Family and personal income in the city sits right around the national average, but inhabitants of Stuart enjoy a high quality of life due in part to a low cost of living compared to the national average. The two largest employers in the city are Martin Health Systems, and the Martin County School District. There are many places to visit on a trip to Stuart, including; the Lyric Theatre, Stuart Heritage Museum, Geoffrey C. Smith Galleries, and Tropical Ranch Botanical Gardens. Stuart is a healthy, warm, city with a fascinating history that can still be explored today.
Kulas & Crawford in the Stuart Community
The creation of a comprehensive estate plan is undoubtedly one of the most important endeavors you will undertake during the course of your lifetime. It is also a highly personal and oftentimes sensitive undertaking. We understand how difficult it can be to share your personal needs and wishes with a stranger which is why the attorneys at staff at Kulas & Crawford strive to develop ongoing relationships with our clients. The relationships we have with our clients are important as well because estate planning should be an ongoing process. The estate plan you create when you are single and just starting out in your career will not be the same plan you need when you reach your retirement years.
Basic estate planning concepts, such as the distribution of estate assets upon your death, will likely dominate your estate plan early on; however, as you move through the phases of your life you will want to update and revise your plan. Events such as marriage, the birth of a child, a significant change in your asset portfolio, and/or your retirement are all events that should trigger a review of your estate plan. Your basic estate plan will likely evolve to include things such as long-term care planning, incapacity planning, Medicaid planning, and probate avoidance. The estate planning team at the Stuart, Florida law firm of Kulas & Crawford would be honored to be with you at each step of your journey through life and help you create an estate plan that reflects your needs and wishes at each stage along the way.
Contact an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney to Get Started
If you have estate planning questions or concerns, or would like to get started creating your estate plan, contact the experienced Florida estate planning attorneys at Kulas & Crawford by calling 772-398-0720 to schedule an appointment.