Estate planning functions as a strategy for ensuring that if you are very sick, injured, or pass away, the right person is making decisions for you. Also, it works for the management of savings and property, and for the care of young children. Thus, estate planning is a proactive approach. Without an estate plan, state laws offer a set of “default settings” that may not be aligned with the best interest of your wishes, your estate or loved ones.
Is Estate Planning Just For What Happens After I Die Or Can It Benefit Me During My Lifetime?
In addition to outlining the instructions for how to manage your estate upon passing away, estate planning can benefit any person during their lifetime as well. This is because the reality is that anything can happen between the present moment and the day we pass. We are all vulnerable to getting sick or hurt and seeing immediate or long-term consequences that can alter our life. Estate planning protects you by providing a concrete set of actionable steps to take if this were to occur.
Are Estate Planning And Medicaid Planning Intertwined? Should They Be?
Estate planning and Medicaid planning are very connected to each other. However, they have a different focus. Oftentimes Medicaid planning can derail certain aspects of the estate plan. Especially in terms of designating beneficiaries for specific assets.
What Is A Will? Is It Enough On Its Own As An Estate Planning Tool?
A will is a legal document that outlines who inherits your probate assets after you pass away. Usually, a will is not enough to ensure that your wishes are honored after you pass away. This is because a will can only control assets, property, or money that has passed through the probate court process. Therefore, a will fails to address all assets that don’t go through probate. In addition, a will won’t help you with your healthcare or property management during your lifetime.
What Is A Trust? What Are The Common Types Of Trusts Created And The Benefits They Offer?
A trust is a legal agreement that controls the management of assets for the benefit of a beneficiary or beneficiaries. Examples of trusts are testamentary trusts created by a Last Will and Testament, revocable living trusts and irrevocable trusts.
What Are Some Necessary Healthcare Related Documents That You Recommend To Your Clients?
We recommend a Designation of Healthcare Surrogate and Living Will. In other states, this is called a Healthcare Power of Attorney. A designation of health care surrogate allows you (the principal) to appoint an agent to make health care decisions or receive protected health information, or both, on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated, or you are not able to make your own informed decisions.
Also, for parents who have minor children, we recommend a Designation of Healthcare Surrogate for a Minor Child.
Do Young Adults Often Fail To Designate A Healthcare Surrogate In Florida?
Oftentimes, parents of young adults (such as college students) assume that they can still weigh in on their health care decisions and obtain private medical information. But when children turn 18, they are considered legal adults. So it is important for parents to talk about this with their young adult children about this so they can better understand their wishes and so they can consider a Designation of Health Care Surrogate.
What Is A Durable Power Of Attorney?
A durable power of attorney gives the nominated agent of your choice the ability to make your financial and legal decisions. A durable power of attorney is only a delegation of your rights, but it does not take away your own rights to make your own financial and legal decisions. A durable power of attorney will generally prevent a guardianship when the creator becomes incapacitated.