admin – The Law Firm of Myrna Serrano Setty, P.A. https://www.serranosetty.com Estate Planning, Medical Directives, Guardianship, Special Needs Planning Fri, 06 Mar 2020 14:25:54 +0000 en hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4 Estate Planning Mistakes Seniors (Including You or Your Parents) Can’t Afford to Make https://www.serranosetty.com/florida/estate-planning-attorney/estate-planning-mistakes-seniors-including-you-or-your-parents-cant-afford-to-make/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=estate-planning-mistakes-seniors-including-you-or-your-parents-cant-afford-to-make https://www.serranosetty.com/florida/estate-planning-attorney/estate-planning-mistakes-seniors-including-you-or-your-parents-cant-afford-to-make/#respond Mon, 30 Apr 2018 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.tampaestateplan.com/?p=202 Once you or your parents reach senior status, you really can’t afford to put it off any longer. Unfortunately, without proper planning, seniors can lose everything, even if they have family to look after them. Having a will isn’t enough.

More and more, the media is highlighting stories of seniors being taken advantage of, and even being targeted by unscrupulous professional guardians.

While planning for your incapacity and death can be scary, it’s even scarier to think of all the horrible things that can happen to your family if don’t have the right planning in place.

Here are a some of the most common mistakes that seniors make:

Mistake #1: Not creating advance medical directives

In your senior years, health care matters become much more relevant and urgent. At this age, you can no longer afford to put off important decisions related to your medical needs. How do you want your medical care handled if you become incapacitated and can’t communicate your wishes? And at the end of life, how do you want your medical care handled? You can address both of these situations with a Designation of Health Care Surrogate and a Living Will.

With the Designation of Health Care Surrogate, you appoint a health care decision maker that can step in for you when you can’t make your own health care decisions. With the Living Will, you provide guidelines for what medical care you want or don’t want at the end of your life. You can even include other instructions, such as who can visit you.

Mistake #2: Relying only on a will

Many people mistakenly believe that a will is the only estate planning tool they need. While wills are definitely one key aspect of estate planning, they come with some serious limitations:

● Wills require your family to go through probate, which is open to the public, can be time consuming and expensive.
● Wills don’t offer you any protection if you become incapacitated and unable to make legal and financial decisions.
● Wills don’t cover jointly owned assets or those with beneficiary designations, such as life insurance policies.
● Wills don’t shield assets from your creditors or those of your heirs.
● Wills don’t provide protections or guidance for when and how your heirs take control of their inheritance.

Mistake #3: Not keeping your plan current

Far too often people prepare a will or trust when they’re young, put it into a drawer, and forget about it. But your estate plan is worthless if you don’t regularly update it when your assets, family situation, and/or the laws change.

We recommend you review your plan at least every three years to make sure it’s up to date and immediately amend it following events like divorce, deaths, births, and inheritances. And if you have a trust in place, you need to make sure that you’re using it properly. Many people who have trusts aren’t using them effectively, leaving their property vulnerable to probate or mismanagement.

Mistake #4: Not pre-planning funeral arrangements

Although most people don’t want to think about their own funerals, pre-planning these services is a key facet of estate planning, especially for seniors. By taking care of your funeral arrangements ahead of time, you not only eliminate the burden and expense for your family, you’re able to make your memorial ceremony more meaningful, as well.

In addition to basic wishes, such as whether you prefer to be buried or cremated, you can choose what kind of memorial service you want—simple, elaborate, or maybe none at all. Are there songs you want played? Prayers or poems recited? Do you have a specific burial plot or a spot where you want your ashes scattered?

Pre-planning these things can help relieve significant stress and sadness for your family, while also ensuring your memory is honored exactly how you want. It’s important that you take care of your estate planning immediately and avoid these common mistakes.

We can walk you step-by-step through the process, ensuring that you have everything in place to protect yourself, your assets, and your family. Call us at (813) 902-3189.

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How do you talk about your estate plan with your family? https://www.serranosetty.com/florida/estate-planning-attorney/how-do-you-talk-about-your-estate-plan-with-your-family/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-do-you-talk-about-your-estate-plan https://www.serranosetty.com/florida/estate-planning-attorney/how-do-you-talk-about-your-estate-plan-with-your-family/#respond Tue, 01 Aug 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.tampaestateplan.com/?p=160 Is it time to have “the talk” with your kids about your estate planning? It can be hard to have these conversations with your family. Here are some tips to make it easier.

Preparation Is Key

1. When you choose important decision makers, make sure you match the skills of the person to the job.

For example, the Personal Representative (also known as the executor) of a will must be able to gather assets, prepare paperwork, handle finances, and deal with potential family disputes. Don’t choose a Personal Representative that isn’t up to that job.  Too often, people choose executors, trustees, guardians, and powers of attorney based on emotions or arbitrary factors, such as who is the oldest child or who might be offended if not chosen. These are difficult, demanding jobs, and you need to choose people who can handle them. It also helps to talk these issues through with an experienced attorney or confidant in advance of making your selections.

2. Prepare your paperwork.

Work with your lawyer to make the best decisions possible, and commit them to writing. This will help reduce any misunderstandings about your wishes.

3. Think about the questions that your family might ask.

For example, if you are worried that one child will be upset because you named another child executor, be ready to answer questions about why you made that decision. Your explanation will go a long way toward reducing any hard feelings and potential disputes after you’re gone.

4. Come Prepared for Business

Once you have your family together, it is important that you not only let them know what your decisions are, but also that it is important to you that they support you and each other. Have copies of your documents available so your family can ask questions about them.

If someone just can’t get onboard, remember that you are dealing with your life and your assets. The ultimate decisions as to how you handle them are yours, and you can even terminate the meeting if necessary. Also, make sure your family knows that your decisions may change as time goes on.

5. Remember that the goal is to provide your family with more than just a set of legal documents outlining your wishes.

By talking to them about your intentions you are helping them gain understanding, comfort, and even buy-in with your plan.

Call (813) 902-3189 to book your Estate Planning Session. We can help you gain peace of mind!

 

 

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