As a leading Florida estate planning attorney firm, here at Weidner Law, we frequently assist our clients with estate planning. Today we want to share some of our top estate planning tips to help you to properly plan for the future.
Florida Estate Planning Attorney Shares Estate Planning Tips
Here at Florida estate planning attorney firm, Weidner Law, we work with clients from all over the state of Florida to help them plan their estate and get their affairs into order. Today we want to share a few top tips with you to make that planning process much easier!
You Need a Team of Professionals, Not Just An Estate Planning Lawyer
To properly plan your estate you need a reputable and experienced estate planning lawyer, but you also need the assistance of a few other professionals too! Your estate planning team should include:
- A tax advisor/tax professional
- An estate planning attorney
- A financial advisor
This team will help you to organize your financials so that you have a better idea of what your estate consists of, help you to plan for taxes each year as well as any final taxes upon your death, and your attorney can help you to decide what arrangements you need to make to best protect your assets.
Address the Five Important Documents
There are five key estate planning documents that you need to create with the help of your estate planning attorney. These include:
- Your healthcare power of attorney/proxy – this document will assign someone you trust with the duty of caring for your healthcare decisions should you become unable to make those decisions for yourself.
- Your living will – this document clearly states what treatments you do and do not want to be done if you are unable to make those decisions for yourself.
- Durable financial power of attorney – this document assigns someone you trust to make financial decisions for you should you be unable to make those decisions for yourself.
- Last will and testament – this document allows you to designate someone to serve as a guardian for your children and to designate beneficiaries for your property.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Release form – You may recognize this form from appointments with your physician. A HIPAA release form is a form where you list individuals who you wish to be able to access your healthcare records.
Make Plans For Your Senior Needs or Long Term Care Needs
Something that very few people consider when planning for their future and planning their estate is the cost of long term or hospice care. It’s understandable that no one wants to think about this, but it’s also something that has to be planned for if you want to have anything remaining in your estate to pass on to your heirs. A financial advisor is the best person to talk to about this type of consideration, but your attorney can also work with you to set up trusts and other means of protecting assets for beneficiaries upon your death.
Make Sure That Your Executor Knows That They’re An Executor!
One big mistake that a lot of people make is assuming that someone will serve as their executor. For example, if a parent has one living child, they would assign that child as the executor of their estate. In this situation, it’s imperative that the parent informs their child that they are the executor of their estate. This allows the child time to understand what this role entails and what their duties may be. Not telling the child that they are assigned as the executor of the estate may lead to feelings of resentment and of being overwhelmed. In this instance, the child may then decide that they do not want to serve as executor, or they may carry out their duties but harbor a longstanding resentment of having the role impressed upon them.
Provide a Payable Upon Death Account
Upon your death, your family will need money to pay for your final expenses (if this is not provided for in another way,) or they will need money to provide for specific needs – for example, if your child attends private school and their tuition needs to be paid. You can set up a payable upon death account with the funds to provide for these expenses. Your financial advisor can work with you to determine the amount of money you should put in the account and your attorney can work with you to determine the logistics of the accounts you set up.
Don’t Forget Your Digital Assets
Everything we do in this day and age has some type of connection to digital accounts and technology. If you don’t have a record of those accounts, the usernames, the passwords, and any additional information needed to access those accounts, the accounts will sit unused and unrecognized as part of your estate.
Keep a record of all of your digital accounts as they pertain to your assets and any other accounts that your family may need to access upon your death. For example, something as simple as your utilities accounts online can make it easier for your family to pay your remaining bills and shut down your account if necessary.
Provide Your Estate Planning Attorney With Your Last Will and Testament
Your last will and testament is extremely important in establishing what happens to your assets upon your death. Having your attorney safeguard your last will and testament will ensure that it is easily accessible upon your death.
Are You Searching For a Florida Estate Planning Attorney?
If you are looking for a Florida estate planning attorney to help you to plan your estate properly, Weidner Law can help! To make an appointment for your consultation with Attorney Weidner, just call our office today at 727-954-8752!