Call Us at

July 4, 2022

Creating an estate plan is an important step in your life for a number of reasons.  Before we dive into the reasons why you should be creating your own plan today, let’s start by addressing some misinformation regarding estate planning.

  1. A Revocable Living Trust is not just for the wealthy.  In fact, it may benefit just about everyone. Whether or not you should create a Trust vs. a Will does not depend on wealth but rather, it will depend on your goals.  A Will gives you control over who your beneficiaries are, what they will inherit, nominating guardians for minor children and more.  Yet, for the Will to have control is must be admitted to the probate court.  If you would rather eliminate probate while accomplishing this same goal then a Revocable Living Trust is the better option.  Any assets in trust are not going to pass through the probate court.
  2. A Will does not eliminate probate. I know we touched on this above but it’s so important to understand, which is why will address this again. Creating a will does not eliminate the need for the probate court to get involved.  Instead, it allows you to ensure things will be carried out after life but understanding that the will must first be admitted to the probate court to accomplish your goals.  An attorney will be hired to assist and a judge will oversee the process.  To learn more about probate, click here.
  3. Designating a beneficiary on my accounts will accomplish the same thing as using a will or trust.  This may be true. Yet, what if the beneficiary were to predecease you?  One major difference between the two is that a will or trust can plan for the ‘what ifs’ in life.  You can list alternate beneficiaries and add controls or specifications to how or how much they receive and when they receive it (which is great for young beneficiaries).

Now, let’s get back to the original reason this post was being created: how can an estate plan benefit your life? How can these documents make your life better?

There are certain ‘things’ in life that keep us up at night or at least occupy our mind from time to time.  Perhaps its the fact that you have a new baby and you now feel the urge to get things in order.  Or, maybe you’re entering into retirement and want to be sure you’ve finalized all the necessary tasks so you can actually enjoy your new chapter of life.  Maybe you have grown children and grandchildren – perhaps the goal is to know that everything is in place so that it will be easier on them.  This is where the Will or Trust can help. It will eliminate your concerns regarding the above because you will have your intent and wishes in black and white.  Everything will be clear regarding who gets what, how they will receive it, when they will receive and any other specifications you want to include.

Let’s not forget life planning though. Planning for when you’re gone is absolutely necessary but we all hope to have long and happy lives.  During life, things can happen. Some of us may receive a diagnosis where our health will begin to decline. Others may suffer from an accident which could result in temporary or permanent disability. Or we may get to live our lives in a healthy fashion (which is what we all want) but understanding that things could happened planning for the unforeseen is crucial. Failing to do so may result in the court choosing individuals to make decisions on your behalf that you would not have chosen yourself.  What documents should you consider to ensure you are prepared?

  1. The Durable Power of Attorney (with medicaid and related provisions for crisis planning)
  2. Living Will
  3. Florida Designation of Health Care Surrogate
  4. HIPAA authorization

Your Trusted Parkland Estate Planning Attorney

If any of this resonates with you then take the time to schedule a strategy session.  During the session our attorney listen to your goals and discuss all options available to you. We have been assisting individuals and families for almost a decade and would love the opportunity to work with you. Give us a call today (954) 999-9683.