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

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Top reasons to create an estate plan

Those who live in Florida and other states are encouraged to create an estate plan as it can bestow a variety of benefits. For instance, it can help a person retain greater control over his or her assets while alive but incapacitated. This is accomplished by designating a medical and financial power of attorney who can make decisions according to the incapacitated individual’s prior instructions. An estate plan will also make it easier for someone to control where his or her assets go after death.

Individuals are encouraged to have a will or trust or name beneficiaries when appropriate. These documents should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they still meet the needs of the person who created them. Estate planning may involve putting assets into trusts or similar entities. This is done to provide protection against lawsuits by family members or claims from creditors. An insurance policy can also help ensure that assets are protected at all times.

An estate plan can also help someone protect his or her legacy of giving. This may include setting up a foundation or charitable trust aimed at helping causes with which the deceased was active while alive. Ideally, other family members will be told about these plans and be made a part of helping them become a reality in the future.

Those who need help drafting estate planning documents may find it from an attorney. A lawyer may also help someone decide which types of documents are appropriate to meet his or her needs. Creating an estate plan may prevent assets from going through probate, which may be ideal for those who value their privacy. It may also allow for assets to be transferred automatically when a person dies, which may make a legal challenge less likely to occur.