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Estate planning a necessity

Florida residents are advised to focus on the elements of estate planning to make sure they protect their rights and interests. Estate planning is not just for the wealthy but is something that we all need, regardless of our age or current financial situation.

An important element of basic estate planning for most people is the preparation of a last will and testament. A last will and testament sets forth a person's wishes when it comes to the distribution of his or her assets upon death. The instrument also designates a person to oversee matters associated with a person's estate. As an alternative to a last will and testament, some individuals elect to create a living trust.

Another document that some people may consider in estate planning is the creation of an advance directive for health care. This instrument establishes what medical treatments and procedures are to be utilized if a person becomes incapacitated. In addition, a durable power of attorney may be created. A durable power of attorney is a legal instrument that designates another individual to deal with a person's financial matters if that individual becomes unable to do so on his or her own.

A Florida estate planning attorney may assist a client in a variety of ways. For example, such an attorney may be able to help a client in the development of an overall estate plan. This may include the drafting of a last will and testament or trust agreement, depending on the nature of that person's assets and objectives. Such an attorney may also be able assist with the preparation of other documents that may be appropriate to a client's particular financial or medical circumstances.

Source: Forbes, "Estate planning for the rest of us", Liz Davidson, September 12, 2013

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