What is Florida Estate Planning?
Estate planning means taking care of yourself and your loved ones. Your estate plan is your written document infused with legal language instructing your loved ones on the kind of medical care you would like in the future. Your estate plan outlines who and/or how you would like to control your assets when you are no longer able to take care of yourself. Utilizing our expertise in estate planning, we can prepare your estate plan during your life and execute your plan when you pass by utilizing trusts, wills, and other planning documents.
Without an estate plan, it isn’t easy to carry out a person’s wishes and bring on a lengthy probate process that can be very expensive for the family. If an estate plan is in place, it can provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
What Legal Documents are Essential for an Estate Plan?
This question is common for many individuals creating an estate plan in Orange County, FL. The answer is that it all depends on many factors. An experienced Florida estate planning attorney can advise you or a loved one on what elements are necessary for an estate plan that legally protects your assets in Orlando, Longwood, and surrounding Florida areas.
Each estate plan in Florida is unique to protecting your assets for the future. Your estate plan may include a mix of different legal documents, including:
Last Will and Testament
A will provides an executor of the estate – someone who will manage the estate, pay debts, and distribute the property as specified. The distribution of assets can be outlined in the will. This document can be as broad or as detailed as a person’s wishes. In a will, beneficiaries and guardians for minor children should be assigned. It may not seem necessary to discuss minor children when discussing seniors and estate planning. Still, with the rise of grandparents raising grandchildren, this may indeed be an essential part of the will. A senior adult can spell out, in the will, how they want their funeral and burial to be carried out as well.
A living will outlines a senior’s wishes for end-of-life medical care. It can include the senior wishes, what medical treatments the senior would or would not like to have in specific situations in as much detail as the senior wishes. A living will takes the stress of making those decisions off of family members and helps keep peace in families during times that can be difficult and emotional.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
A healthcare power of attorney in Florida is also a vital part of an estate plan. This legal document provides for someone to make healthcare decisions for an individual legally. A durable power of attorney will remain in effect if an individual becomes unable to make decisions.
Financial Power of Attorney
A financial power of attorney names an agent who has the power to act in the place of the senior adult for matters relating to finances. The durable financial power of attorney stays in effect if the senior adult in Florida becomes unable to handle their affairs. By having a financial power of attorney in place, the stress and expense of a guardianship can be avoided. The senior has the final say in who will make decisions relating to finances.
Setting up a trust can be beneficial for distributing specific assets or pieces of property in Florida. The benefit of a Florida trust is that it does not go through Orange County probate court compared to a will. Property is still distributed at the trust maker’s death, but it is done without the need of a court. This document also allows for the privacy of the trust maker. If there is only a will establish, the Florida probate court is required. During probate, all of the deceased person’s assets and the terms of their will are made public.
Work with An Experienced Orange County, Florida Estate Planning Attorney
Consulting and planning with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney will help to ensure that all options are explored and the best possible solution is utilized. Our Longwood, FL attorneys can walk you through all the necessary parts of the estate plan, provide an explanation, and prepare the paperwork to ensure your legacy is protected in Florida.
The Law Office of Dana Bowie is here to help you and your loved ones understand Estate Planning, Elder Law, Probate, and Trusts at our Longwood, Florida law firm. We welcome you to contact us to learn more about how we can help meet your Estate Planning needs in Orange County, Seminole County, and surrounding Central Florida areas.