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What are some negative outcomes of absent estate plans in Stuart Florida?

FLORIDA – February 18, 2021

Florida residents should take time to put their affairs in order, in the event they become ill, incapacitated unable to speak for themselves, or they die.  Experienced estate planning attorneys can assist with the drafting of relevant documents and guidance for individuals as they prepare estate plans.

Estate plans usually include:

  • A last will and testament, with guardianship if there are minor children,
  • an advanced healthcare directive, and
  • a durable power of attorney.

There are certain steps individuals can take to save time and money before meeting with a Florida estate planning attorney.  Collecting all personal documents that have some bearing on a persons assets, debts, and overall health will allow a more focused consultation with the lawyer and give them some insight as to the potential division of assets, need for Medicaid or other government programs in aging, and how the individual may want to be treated in the event them become ill.

Pre-planning collection of documents. 

Elder law attorneys can assure that estate planning documents are tailored to the individual needs of their clients, and address the concerns of family members who may be caring for them in their advanced years.  The  process of estate planning begins with organizing a person’s assets, debts, medical records, and other important personal information.  An elder law attorney can explain the importance of setting up trusts to safeguard assets, purchase of long term insurances before the actual need exists and explain the advantages of Medicaid to defray the costs of a nursing home, or paid assisted living services.

Negative effects of absent estate planning.

When Florida residents do not take the time to make an estate plan, it can have negative consequences for loved ones and family members if they become incapacitated, or upon their death.  Setting up a personal estate plan with a Florida attorney will avoid issues with:

  • Failure to address new spouses on investment documents, or other policies that would disregard their claims,
  • Children unable to receive inheritances,
  • Probate and estate taxes eating into the value of total assets that would be part of loved one’s inheritance,
  • Having to shutter active family businesses, or sell them because precise wishes were not included in end-of-life documents,
  • Failure to update beneficiaries on financial documents, including insurance policies, causing them to go through probate actions,
  • Missing valuable stocks and assets that are unable to be passed on to heirs, and
  • Lengthy probate actions that drag on for months and years because of disagreements between beneficiaries, or other hurdles that would be avoided with proper estate planning documentation in place.

Legal counsel.

Florida legal counsel understands Florida laws and how they impact the concerns about how aging individuals will be taken care of when they have difficulty managing their own finances, or activities of daily living. Contact an experienced attorney at The Estate, Trust & Elder Law Firm, P.L. in Stuart Florida to assist with plans for finances and available care options.

 

The Estate, Trust & Elder Law Firm, P.L.

850 NW Federal
Highway, #1004
Stuart, FL 34994
Phone: 772-261-8556
by Appointment Only

 

Sources.

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View%20Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=415.1034&URL=0400-0499/0415/Sections/0415.1034.html

https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2018/Chapter736

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=775.0877&URL=0700-0799/0784/Sections/0784.08.html

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