Did you know that October is when National Estate Planning Awareness Week takes place? Everyone who wants to ensure their wishes are respected in the event of temporary incapacitation or upon their death should have an estate plan in place, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. Having an estate plan in place can provide both security and peace of mind. Also, by regularly updating what you have put in place you can help ensure that security and peace of mind will continue.

The simplicity or complexity of an estate plan may depend on your age, marital and parental status, and what kind of assets you have. For example, having a written will or choosing an agent to serve as your power of attorney or health care surrogate, can go a long way to protecting the future most people want for themselves and their loved ones.

The first step in the Florida estate plan is often creating a last will and testament. You can decide to whom you would like to leave any assets, how to divide your eventual estate, and whether you want to set up any type of trust that would allow your spouse or partner to live comfortably while preserving assets for children and grandchildren. The key is to decide and create the will with your Florida attorney who will know how to put your wishes into action.

While your will can control what happens at your passing, you may also want to speak to your attorney about lifetime documents. When you talk to your attorney about this, the next step may be to create a durable power of attorney. The power of attorney can allow a person of your choice to make financial or legal decisions on your behalf. When durable, this power can survive, even in the event you become incapacitated. By contrast, in Florida, a healthcare surrogate can allow someone of your choice to make medical decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.

Additionally, it is important to check in regularly with your Florida estate plan and to make any changes that may be necessary due to life events, changes in law, or under other circumstances. Estate Planning Awareness Week reminds us to take the time to learn more about the importance of estate planning, as well as, the steps we need to take in order to establish a strong estate plan. In times of great uncertainty, an estate plan can bring much needed peace. For more information, please reach out to our office and schedule a time to meet in an appointment.