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Florida Estate Planning



Different estate planning tools serve different needs—and contrary to popular opinion, estate planning can address more than just what happens to your assets after you die. While it's true that some of legal documents do deal with death, others help you take control of your medical care if you're incapacitated, let you authorize someone else to make legal and financial decisions on your behalf, and preserve your wealth later in life. A Florida estate planning attorney can help you determine which estate planning tools are right for you.

Estate Planning: Not Just for the Elderly

Many people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s think that they don't need estate planning because they're young, healthy and may not have substantial assets. Nothing could be further from the truth! Let's look at a few ways that estate planning is for more than just the elderly.

If you're the parent of minor children (under the age of 18, in Florida), you owe it to your children to think about the unthinkable: What happens if you and your child's other parent pass away while your child is still young. In your last will and testament, you can name someone to act as your child's legal guardian if you die. Many estate planning lawyers may also suggest setting up a trust for your minor children, which allows a custodian to manage and distribute the money to them in the event of your death.

Everyone should consider using a power of attorney (POA) document to appoint someone you trust as your attorney in fact. The POA authorizes that person to perform specific legal and financial tasks, such as signing legal documents on your behalf, talking to the Internal Revenue Service about your taxes and accessing your financial accounts to pay bills and move money. A POA is useful if you're unable to attend a real estate closing, for example, or if you are facing a long hospitalization.

Two medical-legal documents, the living will and healthcare power of attorney (sometimes known as advanced medical directives) help you take control of your medical care even if you're incapacitated.

A living will helps you explain how you'd like to be treated in end-of-life situations. Do you want to remain on life support? How much pain treatment should you receive? When would you like medical professionals to take life-saving measures, such as CPR or dialysis?

The healthcare power of attorney lets you name someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you're incapacitated and unable to communicate with doctors. Your healthcare agent can discuss your medical care with doctors and your health insurance company, and make medical decisions on your behalf.

Find & Hire Local Florida Estate Planning Attorneys

Do you need help locating estate planning lawyers in Jacksonville, Miami, Tampa or elsewhere in Florida? You've come to the right website! Attorneys.com offers a free lawyer referral service that can put you in touch with attorneys in your area. Call us at 877-913-7222 or fill out the form on this page. After you answer a few brief questions, we'll quickly match you with a local lawyer.