Get The Help You Need From A Florida Board-Certified Elder Law Specialist

Is a will enough for my estate plan?

Jul 18, 2018 | Estate Planning

Everyone knows the importance of creating a will, even if few people actually follow through do so. However, some people in Florida feel unnerved when discussing what else they should include in their estate plan. After all, thinking about the end of life and all that comes with it can be uncomfortable. Ultimately, creating a well-rounded estate plan can ease those nerves while also making things easier for surviving family members.

In America, only about 36 percent of people actually have a will. For the other 64 percent of people, intestacy laws will mandate how their assets will be distributed with no consideration to the person’s true wishes. For parents without wills that determine guardianship, the state may end up deciding who takes over raising the kids. Having a will is an essential part of an estate plan and should help form a strong basis for other documents.

For those who are uncomfortable with the idea of having no control over their assets after their death, imagine having no say in end-of-life medical care. Patients who are incapacitated or otherwise unable to voice their opinions can otherwise have their medical wishes respected with a living will and health care power of attorney. A living will describes which medical treatments a person is comfortable with, while the accompanying power of attorney designates a reliable individual to make those decisions on their behalf.

Finally, most people can round out their estate plans with one final power of attorney. A durable power of attorney allows another person to make financial decisions should they become unable to do so on their own. This means they can pay bills and manage finances during difficult times.

A comprehensive estate plan is a must for everyone in Florida. Without one, people have little to no say over their end-of-life care, finances during times of incapacitation and assets after death. By setting aside the time for careful estate planning, the average person can exercise a much greater level of control over their own lives.