As 2020 draws to a close, do you find yourself taking deep breaths and looking to the new year with hope for a return to normal? The end of this year, and the impending arrival of a new one, can also be a good time to consider all of the tumultuous events of the year and consider what steps we can take to help make sure we are prepared for anything moving forward. A great way to feel more secure about the future can be to ensure you have a valid Florida estate plan in place in the event you fall ill or pass away unexpectedly. Proper estate planning can give you peace of mind that no matter what happens, your wishes may be understood by your loved ones.

If you are ready to think about creating your Florida estate plan but are not sure where to begin, contact a local attorney to discuss the process. Most people associate estate planning with writing a will. A will can be a great place to start, but you will likely want to include other documents, for example, powers of attorney or health care surrogate, to include further legal protections for your future and that of your loved ones. A will can basically be thought of as a set of instructions for what you would like to happen after your death. These instructions can cover everything from how your estate, including your money, personal possessions, the home you live in, should be divided among your heirs, to whether you would like to make a charitable bequest, to funeral instructions. A will does not, however, cover other circumstances, such as an illness from which you might recover. In that situation you may want to have a power of attorney and health care surrogate executed so that your choice of relative or friend could make financial or medical decisions on your behalf. All of these can be important parts of estate planning.

There may be many attorneys in your area of Florida with practices focused on estate planning. Before choosing to work with one to create your Florida estate plan, take the time to talk to a few of them and ask questions. How much do they charge? Do they charge on an hourly basis, or is there an all-in rate for an estate planning package? Do they have experience working with families like yours? Make sure you have the right fit and that you are comfortable with your choice.

For assistance developing a strong, comprehensive Florida estate plan, please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment.