It’s a common misconception that only the wealthy need to establish an estate plan. Estate planning not only specifies who will inherit your property and assets at the time of your death, but it can also help you reduce the taxes on what you leave behind. Most importantly, the estate planning process creates a financial plan for your family’s security after you’ve passed away.
Estate planning is much more than simply drafting a will. The right estate plan requires an estate planning lawyer who can help you with the creation of several complicated legal documents. In south Florida, that lawyer is Fort Lauderdale estate planning attorney Marc Brown.
An estate plan is imperative for business owners, families, and for anyone who wants to provide responsibly for loved ones. If you own anything of value, and if you’re 18 or older, you need to have an estate plan, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each estate plan is individual and unique.
What Does Estate Planning Accomplish?
Effective estate planning goes beyond merely creating the necessary legal documents. It is about making informed choices so that your wishes and instructions are carried out – without interference – when you pass away or if you become incapacitated.
You probably know that a last will and testament is a legal document that offers instructions for settling someone’s estate after that person’s death. Even if your own estate is modest, a last will and testament – or a trust – is something you should have.
What Should Be Included in Your Estate Plan?
You can accomplish the basics – naming who will inherit your assets and property – with a last will and testament, but a complicated estate will probably require you to create a trust. Your attorney will know whether a trust or a will is more appropriate in your own situation.
Additional documents may also be a part of your estate plan. Everyone’s circumstances differ, so the estate planning documents and forms you need to create will depend on your individual circumstances and needs. Fort Lauderdale estate planning attorney Marc Brown helps clients create estate plans that may include:
- healthcare proxies and financial powers-of-attorney
- living wills
- revocable and irrevocable trusts
If you become disabled or incapacitated, a power of attorney grants to someone you’ve named the authority to manage your affairs and to make medical, business, or financial decisions on your behalf. A living will can also be a part of your estate plan so that you do not have to endure medical heroics such as extraordinary life support measures.
You may also choose to create a healthcare proxy for your minor child or children, as there may be instances where parents or guardians may not be able to make medical choices for a minor child – for example, if the parents or guardians become incapacitated because of something like a traffic accident.
Contact a Florida Estate Planning Attorney – Right Away
You can find blank, generic estate planning forms and do-it-yourself estate planning “kits” available for purchase online. Avoid them entirely. This cannot be stressed strongly enough. Blank forms provide neither the specificity nor the complete legal protection that your assets and your loved ones need.
The Fort Lauderdale law firm of Marc Brown, P.A. can create effective, enforceable estate planning documents to address your personal situation and your wishes in a way that is clear and precise. Contact us to schedule a free first estate planning consultation.