While many Florida residents have estate plans, some of those are incomplete. Some people have an idea that they simply just need to write a will and then forget about it. When that approach is taken, there are many important issues that can arise, leaving a family struggling to know what to do.
While a will should address passing assets, it should also name an executor who will be in charge of distributing them as well as paying the estate's bills and taxes. In addition to a will, people should also have a durable power of attorney in place. A durable power of attorney appoints someone to manage the principal's financial affairs in the event of incapacity. Similarly, a health care power of attorney or living will is a good idea, as it can allow another person to make important health care decisions if the grantor is no longer able to do so.
If people do not want to receive life-saving treatment in the event they are near death, they should also have a do not resuscitate order. A living trust, through which assets are transferred to others while the person is still alive, can be good idea to avoid probate. Leaving a document that tells others where they can find all of the estate planning documents and life insurance policies is important. People should not forget to plan for how their digital information will be handled as well.
People may want to have several discussions with their attorneys and families. They may want to talk about how they want to pass their assets. A discussion about the potential tax consequences of the estate plan is also in order. Many people also will want to write a legacy letter to their families in which they tell them the important things they would like their loved ones to know.