When a loved one dies, many people are unprepared for all the tasks that they are faced with. In addition to the personal loss of a beloved family member, there is a lot of work to be done regarding the probate and estate process. Many Central Florida residents opt to take on this burden themselves, but this can often backfire.
When it comes to end of life planning, one may not consider all of the little details that can actually have a big impact on his or her estate. Thorough estate planning can help Florida residents avoid any potential problems and allow them to see how their decisions will truly impact how everything will be treated after they are gone. Naming one's executor is one of these details that can have either a positive or negative effect on the handling of an estate.
For years, engaged couples in Florida and beyond have drafted and signed a prenuptial agreement in order to protect assets owned before marriage. In recent times, married couples have been adding a different type of legal contract to their estate planning efforts. This document is signed after the wedding day and is, therefore, called a "postnuptial" agreement.
Many people believe that their estate plan is good enough, because their estates are fairly modest and they are leaving everything to just a few beneficiaries. But a well-intentioned estate plan can contain serious errors, especially if the testator put it together without the help of an attorney.
We have spoken before about how powers of attorney can allow loved ones to care for people who have been mentally incapacitated by illness or injury. Another form of power of attorney empowers a person to handle the incapacitated person's financial affairs; it is also possible to have power of attorney over both the person's finances and medical decisions.
Health care directives, also known as living wills, are a good idea for anyone who wants to have a say if they are ever incapacitated by injury or illness, and unable to speak up for themselves. They give you control over medical decisions during a catastrophe, and you need not wait until you are older or in poor health to create one.
For most people in Florida, their homes are one of the most valuable things they own. It could also be one of the largest assets passed along in the owner's estate.
Estate planning can help you plan for and protect your future. However, new reports show that many people are focusing more on retirement planning than estate planning. Failing to create an estate plan can lead to serious trouble down the road that your retirement plan cannot fix.
Do you know what will happen to you if you become incapacitated or are unable to make decisions regarding your health? Having a living will or durable power of attorney can make all the difference in the event you cannot make end-of-life decisions for yourself.
Yesterday, March 31, was the 10-year anniversary of Terri Schiavo's death. Most of our readers remember the saga of this woman's case, which pitted her husband against the rest of her family. It is a good time to remember how important it is to have a living will as part of your estate plan, to avoid confusion over your medical and end-of-life preferences.