For our readers in Florida, estate planning may seem like a daunting task at any age, but perhaps more so for seniors who have never had an estate plan before. However, estate planning doesn’t need to be overly complicated. There are some basic documents that are oftentimes part of any given estate plan, although each plan will have unique terms to the individual in question. Prioritizing the task of getting an estate plan done, however, is the most important part of the process.
Estate planning options
For starters, most estate plans will include a “will and testament,” commonly just referred to as a “will.” These documents provide basic details about how an individual would like assets to be distributed upon death. Specific items may be accounted for, or just percentages to any given heir or beneficiary. For those who are looking to avoid the need for probate court, or for maximum tax avoidance, a trust may be an option as well. There are many different types of trusts to consider.
Good, comprehensive estate plans will address more than just assets and finances. So-called “end of life” decisions and plans may be included as well. Many estate plans will include power of attorney documents that can designate another person, or multiple people, to make financial or healthcare decisions on the planner’s behalf, if the planner is incapacitated and unable to make those decisions known.
A “living will” is different from the more commonly known “will,” in that a “living will” is a chance for the planner to dictate preferences for medical care and treatment in written form, so that loved ones and healthcare professionals have something to refer to when making important healthcare decisions if the planner, again, is unable to communicate those preferences. With all of the estate planning options available, our readers are encouraged to review the estate planning overview section of our law firm’s website for more information.