Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen, P.A. - Elder Law

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Estate planning can give loved ones peace of mind

Many people in Florida may put off thinking about estate planning, but preparing these key documents can be critical in helping to provide peace of mind to a person’s loved ones in the future. People can act to ensure that their wishes are carried out after they pass away as well as putting in place safeguards to respect their financial and healthcare decisions if they are incapacitated.

In many cases, people think of a will when they think about estate planning. A will is an important document to distribute property held in one person’s name, but it is also important to think about other kinds of property transfers. For example, joint accounts will go to the other person named on the account. Life insurance policies, retirement accounts and other funds will go to the named beneficiary, so it can be particularly important to ensure that this information is accurate and updated. People often delay making out a will, viewing it as a task they will take on when older. However, creating a will now can help to assure that matters are cared for in case of an unexpected event.

Estate planning isn’t only about passing on property and financial accounts. For many people, some of the most important documents can address healthcare in the case of incapacity. A living will can outline specific types of medical treatment that a person consents to, and a healthcare proxy can appoint an individual to make healthcare decisions in a person’s stead when he or she is unable to do so.

Creating a plan for the future doesn’t need to be overly complicated. An attorney may help a person draw up important documents, like wills, trusts and powers of attorney, that reflect his or her desires for the future. These documents can also be revised when necessary to reflect life changes.