There is no reason why the end-of-life affairs have to be a complicated, stressful concept. Everyday estate planning really boils down to a few simple steps. Don't be put off by thoughts of complicated documentation. By acting now it's possible to prevent hardship for oneself and others down the road. For Florida residents, knowing a few simple facts can help, even before contacting estate planning lawyers.
When considering estate planning, the first item that comes to mind is the will. The will is where a person bequeaths their property at the end of life. Before an estate can be distributed in this manner, a will must go through a court process called probate. There are ways to avoid probate, and one of those ways is to establish a trust. When a person avoids probate, they streamline the estate process, preserve privacy and save money.
Other estate basics include the medical and durable power of attorney. A durable power of attorney designates someone to handle the affairs of a person that is unable to handle them personally. This estate tool can be extremely important should a person have a stroke, or other serious illness that requires long-term care. A medical power of attorney, also called a health care surrogate, designates a person to make medical decisions on behalf of the person granting the power when that individual is no longer able to do so.
When broken down, the basics of estate planning consist of just these simple ideas. Each document has its own particular set of details, and will be governed by Florida law. Persons familiar with the basics of estate planning usually choose to consult with estate planning lawyers to handle the practical application process of making these documents.
Source: tcpalm.com, "ESTATE PLANNING: The basics of everyday estate planning", Robert D. Schwartz, Aug. 31, 2017