Estate Planning Survival Kit

Estate Planning Survival KitEstate Planning helps your avoid probate, protect inherited assets from creditors and bad marriages, provide money management for irresponsible beneficiaries then you need estate planning to ensure your assets will survive.

Estate Planning Essential Documents

1. Durable Power of Attorney

  • Decision-making authority may be granted to almost anyone
  • Most useful to address the problems created by the principal’s incapacity, e.g. payment of bills
  • Must contain language to the effect “this durable general power of attorney shall not be affected by the disability of the grantor except as provided by law” as required by statute
  • Must be executed properly , two witnesses and notarized.

2. Living Will Declaration

  • Not a Will, but a statement of instruction
  • Validity and enforceability supported by statute and Florida case law
  • Along with Powers of Attorney, appointment of health care surrogate are known as advance directives. When you are admitted to a hospital or treatment facility that received payment from Medicare, admitting office must inquire and obtain these documents and place them in the patient’s file.

3.  Last Will and Testament

  • Allows the maker to direct what is to be done with property, which is individually owned
  • Provides a forum to resolve disputes and cut off creditor claims
  • Provides flexibility given changing facts and circumstances
  • Must be signed with proper formality- 2 witnesses and notary.

4. Revocable living Trust
More sophisticated property ownership arrangement having as its purpose:

  • Avoiding probate
  • Providing for financial asset management in the event of incapacity
  • Reduce or eliminate Federal Estate taxation
  • May provide instructions for management of financial assets
  • Only effective if assets transferred and reregistered in to the name of the Trustee
  • For benefit of Trustmaker, spouse, children and other beneficiaries.

Estate Planning Survival Kit

This is a simple list of estate planning documents and is a good starting point to understanding what is needed to create your own estate plan. Come join us for a Free estate planning workshop to get your questions answered and learn from an expert in estate planning in a casual environment.

5 Responses to Estate Planning Survival Kit

  • Jeff says:

    I have read several of your blogs, which have taught me a lot. But it’s all so complicated, Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Living Wills the list goes on…and everything is so expensive too. I just don’t know where to begin in the first place. It just seems like all my money is going to pay the attorney and I won’t have any left to put in a Will or an estate plan.

    • Mary says:

      In order for the attorney to create the documents to protect your assets and provide for your family properly, the attorney needs to spend time with you to learn the dynamics of your family and your values and goals. Planning of any nature is an ongoing process. We know clients are hesitant to schedule appointments with their attorneys because they don’t want to pay a large fee. That is one reason we have developed the planning workshops. I would invite you to attend one of our workshops and take advantage of the information we have to share.

      I hope that helps.

      Mary

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