An Estate Planning Refresher

It’s starting to feel like summer, students are finishing their academic years, and graduation and vacation photos abound on social media. This is also a great time of year for an Estate Planning refresher and a review of your essential documents.

Estate Planning is, quite simply, the process through which you plan for your lifetime care decisions, in the event that you become mentally or physically incapacitated; and the planning for the transfer of your assets to beneficiaries in the event of your death, while minimizing tax burdens for your beneficiaries and protecting them from creditors.

Proper Estate Planning also takes into consideration the care of minor children and family members with special needs and can include provisions for pets. Estate Planning is for people of all ages, and it is not just for the wealthy. If you have any assets at all, you have an Estate, and your digital assets can be a part of your planning.

Estate Planning also includes preparing lifetime living documents, advance directives, that protect you in the event of illness or incapacity. These essential documents include:

Designation of Health Care Surrogate: Gives a person you select the ability to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you cannot make decisions for yourself due to illness or incapacity.

Durable Power of Attorney: Gives someone you choose legal authority to act in your place, during a period of incapacity, and make business and financial decisions for you.

HIPAA Release: Grants a person the authorization to receive your medical information and discuss your medical condition with health care providers.

Designation of Preneed Guardian:  Allows you to name preneed guardian by making a written declaration that names such guardian to serve in the event of your becoming incapacitated.

Living Will: Expresses your instructions concerning life-prolonging procedures

Revocable Living Trusts: An an excellent way to manage property and other assets during their lifetime and to transfer them to loved ones after death without probate. You can also modify or terminate a Revocable Trust if needed. Another benefit of a Revocable Trust is that it can designate your wishes regarding care in the event of your becoming incapacitated. Revocable Trusts help clients plan for their lifetime care needs, families’ futures, and the transfer of assets after death. Many clients also add asset protection features for their future trust beneficiaries.

By making your wishes clear, and having these important documents in place, you can relieve stress and anxiety for your loved ones during a crisis. Proper Estate Planning will also help them better manage in the event of your death. It truly is a gift of love that benefits everyone in your family, and the positive impact this planning will have in the future cannot be overstated.

Our compssionate and caring Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney is here for you is sensitive to you and your family’s unique needs and concerns.

Our Elder Law and Estate Planning Law Office has the knowledge, experience, and empathy necessary to guide you in preparing a Will or Trust, or in legally representing you in a Probate or Trust Administration. If you have any concerns about Wills, Trusts, Power of Attorney, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, or managing the costs of long-term care, we are here for you. We are here to help you and your loved ones have more peace of mind.

Grady H. Williams, Jr., LL.M, Managing Attorney

Grady H. Williams, Jr., LL.M.: Your Florida First Coast Elder Law Attorney.

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