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Florida estate planning: Think beyond a will

When working on end-of-life planning, one of the things most people think of is completing a will. While a will certainly has its place in the estate planning process, there are other legal documents that those residing in Florida or elsewhere may want to consider. What are these and why are they important?

One document that can prove to be extremely valuable is a power of attorney. By signing this document, one gives a trusted individual the authority to make personal decisions on one's behalf. These can be personal, financial or medical decisions that a person will not be able to make due to incapacitation.

When it comes to medical matters, however, other forms may also be necessary, such as signing a HIPAA release. This will grant full access to medical records, which could certainly help in making health care decisions. To help one's representative make such decisions, one's final wishes may also be documented in a living will or life-prolonging procedures declaration.

At the end of the day there is a lot that goes into estate planning, making it somewhat difficult to complete. An experienced attorney can help Florida residents make this entire process less confusing and easier to handle. By seeking assistance, it is possible to ensure that nothing has been overlooked and that any concerns are thoroughly addressed. This includes having any additional forms -- such as those mentioned here -- completed. If, after an estate plan has been drafted, changes are necessary, further assistance in making modifications is also available.

Source:, "4 Estate Planning Documents You Need Beyond a Will", Sara Schafer, Nov. 18, 2015

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