Protecting assets and providing for loved ones are two primary goals of most estate owners. Even for basic assets, it is good to have a plan in place for how they should be distributed when the time comes to administer the estate. The estate planning process is never the same between two people; this is because each person can customize his or her plan to meet specific goals. There are three essential documents, however, that are incorporated into the typical Florida estate plan.
One of the most important estate planning documents is the last will and testament. Many people, including some wealthy celebrities, die without executing a will, which can cause complex legal problems for loved ones and others who believe they are entitled to a portion of the estate. A will usually specifies beneficiaries, in addition to naming a person to act as executor of the estate. Numerous other issues, such as those pertaining to a business, may be included in a will as well.
An advance directive may take effect before an estate owner dies
Another document often included in the estate planning process is an advance directive. This document enables a person to specify wishes or instructions regarding end-of-life care, as well as emergency care in circumstances where incapacitation has occurred. Another document, known as a power of attorney, is often used in conjunction with an advance directive. A person with a power of attorney can act on behalf of the estate owner to make decisions regarding medical issues or finances and a number of other things.
Where to find answers to estate planning questions
An estate plan can be updated as needed. If questions arise or someone is unclear about Florida estate laws, it is helpful to meet with an estate planning attorney. An attorney can remain on hand throughout the planning process and can also be of assistance when the time comes to administer the estate.