In life it is often tempting to take the “easy” way out. When it comes to estate planning, however, we can tell you from experience that is never a good idea. By taking shortcuts, you may well be setting your loved ones up for failure, litigation, and high costs. Conversely, by working with an estate planning lawyer, instead of relying on legal forms or advice from the internet, you can avoid costly and unpleasant mistakes.
Do you have a Florida estate plan right now? If the answer is, “no,” you are not alone. Experts say lots of people make the same mistake. In fact, a 2017 survey backed that contention, indicating that more than half of Americans did not have a last will and testament. At the time, only 42 percent of American adults had estate planning documents, such as a will or trust agreement.
Without an estate plan, your family may face an uncertain future if two critical things happen. First, if you become critically ill or injured and can no longer provide for them. Second, and perhaps even more devastating, should you pass away.
As Florida estate planning attorneys, we can help you create a simple legal strategy that protects you and your loved ones now, as well as in the long run. Your Florida estate plan may include a last will and testament, which allows you to specify how your assets should be distributed after you die. Your Florida estate plan may also include a durable power of attorney, and a health care surrogate designation. The former allows you to choose someone to make financial decisions for you if you are unable to do so. By making the document “durable” you are authorizing your agent to act in the event of your incapacity as well. The latter estate planning tool allows you to choose someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you are incapable of doing so.
As part of a basic estate plan, we can also craft a living will that reflects your wishes for end-of-life medical care. With this in place, your family won’t have to worry about what to do. We also work with our clients to help them avoid trouble by:
· Reviewing and updating your existing last will and testament.
· Helping you plan for disability.
· Providing advice about choosing a personal representative.
· Devising a strategy that allows you to give your kids the house, without putting their name on the deed.
· Helping you to understand relevant estate and tax laws.
Let us reiterate that we are here to help you prepare for the inevitable and the unexpected by creating or updating your estate plan. Do not put off your Florida estate plan. You are always welcome to contact our practice to schedule a meeting now, or any time in the future.