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The creation of a will may help family cope with loss

Discussing end-of-life wishes isn’t an easy thing to confront. Most people try to avoid talking about something so dismal, although having a plan can help ensure that final wishes are known and may assist surviving family members cope with their loss. There are several legal documents Florida residents may use to make final arrangements regarding end-of-life care, funeral plans and the division of their estate. Assigning durable powers of attorney and the creation of a will are great places to start.

Durable powers of attorney will grant decision-making abilities to another individual in the event of incapacitation. This person can become responsible for just about anything, including deciding the course of medical treatment, selling property or even paying bills. It is a significant responsibility to take on, so assigning these powers to someone who is considered trustworthy and ready to embrace the challenges of this task is definitely something that should be carefully contemplated.

A last will and testament can have very specific details regarding a variety of things, including the inventory and division of assets, as well as information pertaining to pre-planned funeral arrangements. Providing clear-cut instructions may ensure final wishes are carried out as desired. Simply put, the more specifics included in this document, the less family members may have to stress or fight about.

There is a lot that Florida residents will need to take into account when discussing end-of-life matters. Talking to family and taking certain actions, such as assigning durable powers of attorney or the creation of a will or trust, can establish the desired objectives for end-of-life care and the division of the estate. Thoroughly considering one’s final estate by taking the time to effectively plan and document final wishes may feel like an overwhelming task, but it will prove invaluable to surviving family members by reducing tension and making the situation easier to bear.

Source:, "Legal Counsel: Planning helps families deal with end-of-life issues", Cynda C. Ottawaya, June 8, 2014

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