Vero Beach, FL – Many people are familiar with basic financial planning, but estate planning has some important differences. There are certain things that estate planning can accomplish that cannot be done through standard money management. The main difference between the two is related to managing a person’s assets and affairs in the future when they cannot on their own.
The differences between estate planning and basic financial planning
Estate planning is the process of preparing to manage a person’s assets and money if they are incapacitated, pass away, or otherwise unable to make their own decisions. An estate plan can allow distribution of assets to family members or charitable organizations, medical directives to issue instructions for treatment in advance, and give family members legal authority over the person’s money and property if they cannot do so on their own.
A basic financial plan is meant to help someone manage their money, but it does not utilize legal instruments such as trusts or wills to distribute wealth to family members or other parties named in these documents. There are also certain important legal issues related to power of attorney and similar ways of granting authority over a person and their property that should only be utilized after consulting with an experienced law firm.
What is contained in a standard estate plan?
No two estate plans are likely to be exactly the same. This is because an estate plan will change based on the amount or personal and real property the person has, their financial situation, their investments, the size of their family, and even their health situation. Some common estate planning documents are trusts, wills, power of attorney, life insurance, and designations for beneficiaries and guardianship. Professionals who work in estate planning can give advice regarding exactly what documents should be included based on the person’s situation and their goals.
Maintaining an estate plan that is already in place
An estate plan or documents within a plan such as a trust may need to be modified from time to time. This can be done to keep the plan current and account for any potential changes that might happen between when the plan was initially created and when the testator dies. Because these changes can create legal issues or large differences in inheritance, it is important that an estate plan is changed while consulting with a lawyer who focuses on this area of the law.
Getting specific advice
Anyone who wants to learn more about the process of creating a functional estate plan that matches their needs can talk with an experienced local firm. The Estate, Trust, and Elder Law Firm is available to discuss creating or modifying an estate plan with potential clients.
Firm contact info:
850 NW Federal Highway, #1004, Stuart, FL 34994
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