A Broward-Palm Beach-Dade TriCounty FL Estate Planning Lawyer would like to share some estate planning essentials that are crucial for protecting your family. None of us like to think about the inevitable, but if you don’t leave your financial affairs sorted out, your loved ones will inherit a huge headache, and perhaps a financial burden. You don’t want your family to be forced into making critical decisions concerning your estate when they are grieving, or have no clue if what they’re doing matches your plans. If you have the basics covered in advance, you can ensure that the correct people will inherit.
The first most important thing to do is draft a will. This will must name a guardian for any children under 18, as well as an executor of the estate. Ask your lawyer about the creation of a minor’s trust, which ensures that any assets left to your children will be saved until they reach the age of majority (usually 18). Step two is to have either a living trust or a trust within the will.
Third, a power of attorney must be assigned. A financial power-of-attorney allows a designated person to write checks if you’re incapable of acting on your own. A medical power-of-attorney allows you to choose someone to make the important decisions concerning your health care.
Fourth, establish an advance directive, in which you can state all end-of-life preferences, such as if you’ll want to be put on a respirator, or if you’ll want to have a feeding tube. This directive can include a living will, any Do Not Resuscitate wishes and a medical power-of-attorney. Fifth, make absolutely sure that you have a sufficient amount of life insurance. Sixth, update all beneficiaries. If your ex-wife is listed anywhere as a beneficiary, then that wins over other more current beneficiaries in your will. Seventh, make sure all paperwork is organized.
Keep insurance policies, tax returns, mortgage papers, Medicare cards, etc. in one place. Finally, keep the original will with your lawyer, not in a safe deposit box.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisement.