Wills and Estates

Estate planning is not just for wealthy people. Almost everyone has an estate.

Your estate is comprised of everything you own, such as your real estate, vehicles, investments, checking and savings account, retirement plans, life insurance policies, and personal possessions. Estate planning allows you to appoint trusted individuals to manage your affairs, and make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated, and ensure your property is distributed in the matter you wish after you die.

If you do not have the proper legal documents in place for when you die or if you become incapacitated, then the state has strict laws that determine how your affairs must be handled. Oftentimes things end up getting administered very differently than how you would have wanted them too. Likewise, these legally mandated actions by the state often end up causing your loved ones tremendous emotional stress and anguish, and these actions usually waste precious financial resources that could have been much better used by the people you care about the most.

There are several basic estate planning documents that every adult in Florida should have. Having a will is certainly important, but it is not the only document that you should have in place in order to make sure your affairs are handled as you would want them to be during difficult times.

  • Will – A will is a legal document that explains who will inherit your property when you die. It likewise can appoint a guardian for any minor children you may have. It also can give instructions to the court system that will save your loved ones precious time and money when they may need it the most.
  • Power of Attorney – A power of attorney allows someone you trust to make financial decisions for you when you are not able to do so yourself. A Power of Attorney is no longer valid after you die.
  • Medical Power of Attorney – A medical power of attorney authorizes someone you trust to make medical decisions for you if you were to ever become ill and unable to communicate with your doctor. 
  • Living Will – A living will instructs your doctor as to whether or not you would want to receive life-sustaining treatments if you were to become extremely ill and unable to communicate.
  • HIPAA Authorization – A HIPAA Authorization allows doctors' offices and insurance companies to share your personal health care information with someone you trust, including family members. 

Call us to determine your family's specific needs!