You are never “too young” or “too old” to think about or begin estate planning. No matter your age or how many assets you have, estate planning is for everyone. However, certain times in an individual’s life may create more of an urgency to begin the planning process, such as retirement or being diagnosed with a long-term illness.
What is Estate Planning?
Estate planning is utilizing certain ‘tools’ during your life to ensure your assets and estate are properly managed during a time of incapacity or distributed according to your wishes after your death. Examples of such ‘tools’ include the Last Will and Testament and the Revocable Living Trust. Other important documents typically included in a traditional estate plan are the Durable Power of Attorney, Designation of Health Care Surrogate and Living Will. Without these documents in place, you run the risk of a guardian being appointed to oversee your affairs during life (should you become incapacitated) or your assets being subjected to the probate court after your death. Florida probate is not only time consuming but costly which means your assets (the cash in your bank accounts, non-homestead real estate, etc) may be used to cover the cost of attorneys’ fees. By planning in advance, you can take control of how your estate is handled, eliminate probate, protect your beneficiaries’ assets from creditors and more.
Estate Planning for the Elderly
When it comes to planning for the elderly, estate planning is even more crucial because their risk of injury or death is unfortunately more probable. Additionally, long term care becomes an important goal as we age, and your estate planning documents should include the proper provisions for such care. At a bare minimum, an aging person should consider creating their health care documents (the designation of health care surrogate, living will and HIPAA authorization) to make clear their wishes regarding end-of-life care. The durable power of attorney should also be created with proper provisions regarding the authority of the agent (the person you select in the document to have power) to assist in qualifying you for public benefits, such as Medicaid.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney Today
The Florida Medicaid Planning & Elder Law Firm has a team of experienced Estate Planning and Elder attorneys. We understand how intimidating and uncomfortable this topic can be so we strive to make the process as easy and seamless as possible. Contact us to set up an appointment to evaluate your options. We serve the entire state of Florida – call us at (954) 999-9683 or email us at email@example.com