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Is talking about estate planning enough?

Feb 24, 2019 | Estate Planning

Few people in Florida would dispute the importance of end-of-life planning. From drawing up wills to sorting out preferred medical treatments, estate planning is a fairly essential process, particularly for those who are around 50 years old. Unfortunately, the actual percentage of people engaging in estate planning is relatively low.

The most basic estate plan involves a will and not much else. Wills are extremely useful for distributing a person’s property, but they might not be helpful in different situations. A more comprehensive estate plan will also include a living will and durable power of attorney. Living wills outline a person’s wishes when it comes to end-of-life medical care while a durable power of attorney gives another person the legal right to make those decisions.

A study from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave surveyed around 3,000 adults and found that while most say they are willing to discuss these types of estate planning documents, few follow through with making them. According to the study, 45 percent of people over the age of 55 do not even have a will. Only 18 percent reported that they had a will, power of attorney and living will.

Talking about estate planning is important for many reasons. When Florida residents discuss end-of-life planning, they can make sure that their loved ones fully understand their wishes. However, talking is only the first step in a much bigger process. By creating important estate planning documents like living wills and powers of attorney, individuals can feel certain that their wishes will be respected both before and after their death.