A solid estate plan based on Florida law is meant to provide peace and comfort in times of need. Just like insurance, no one wants their estate plan to be needed; but, the truth is – life happens. Here are some things you can accomplish with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney:
1. Health Care Advance Directives: This group of documents accomplishes a few important goals. First, it tells medical professionals and loved ones who you want to make your health care decisions if you can’t make your own. Second, it preserves your choices regarding what life prolonging procedures you want if certain crisis situations occur. Third, it establishes who can legally access your private healthcare information. Can you imagine the chaos if a physician who doesn’t know you or family members have to figure this out on their own?
2. Living Trust: A living trust creates legal guidelines for the distribution of your assets. Who will inherit? How will they receive their inheritance? Do you have a special needs child or minor child that should not receive their inheritance all at one time? Who will help you with your financial assets if you become incapacitated? What’s important to you and your legacy? A living trust answers these questions and more. This document preserves your choices and makes things simpler during times of crisis.
3. Durable Power of Attorney: This document is where you appoint a legal representative (agent) who can handle certain financial matters. This is an essential document and Florida law now requires that the document is very comprehensive. Who will take your minimum distributions from your IRA or pull out funds of your 401k if they are needed and you are incapacitated? The Durable Power of Attorney is where you appoint someone you trust to handle this in the event of a crisis. Otherwise, your financial advisor cannot release your money to anyone while you are alive. Essentially, this document creates comfort in knowing that someone that you trust has the legal authority to help you.