Contrary to the popular belief, developing an estate plan is not only about drafting a will.
Having an estate plan provides you and your family with plenty of benefits, one of which is preventing your family members from having to engage in fierce legal battles and jump through bureaucratic hoops after your passing.
Making sure that all of your assets are distributed to your heirs upon your death can be done with estate planning, and an estate plan eliminates creditors – and in some cases, the government – from the equation (they do have voracious appetites when it comes to taking away something that doesn’t belong to them!).
Benefits of estate plan in Wesley Chapel (Florida)
We asked our most experienced estate planning attorney at DHW Law about what things to consider when planning an estate. But first, let’s review the benefits of estate plan in Wesley Chapel and elsewhere in Florida:
- distributing all of your assets to your heirs as you wish.
- preventing bad blood and legal battles within your family and among your heirs.
- providing for guardianship and care of minor children.
- assigning certain family members to control and access your assets in case you become disabled.
- assigning family members to control and access your assets after your death.
- assigning family members or other individuals to take over your business after your passing.
- preventing the unnecessary and costly legal process of having to divide and assign your assets to heirs and family members.
It’s highly advised to seek the legal advice of a Wesley Chapel estate planning attorney when developing an estate plan, as laws regarding the distribution of assets and guardianship are regularly changed and revised by U.S. lawmakers.
Things to consider for an estate plan
Our finest attorneys at DHW Law, a Florida-based law firm that provides clients with efficient, goal-oriented legal assistance, have outlined 5 things to consider when planning an estate:
1. A Will and Trust. This element of an estate plan guarantees that your assets and property will be distributed to your heirs according to your wishes, while the care of minor children will be assigned to specified family members or individuals outside of the family.
Note: a will does not typically cover community property, life insurance proceeds or retirement accounts. However, you may want to consult a Wesley Chapel estate planning lawyer to know if these elements could be covered in your particular case.
2. A Living Will. Writing down specific instructions about your medical care and the healthcare procedures that you do and do not want to be performed on you should you become disabled or otherwise unable to communicate on your own.
3. A Health Proxy or Medical Power of Attorney. Assigning a specific family member, individual or health care prox a that would make a medical decision on your behalf if you become disabled or cannot make decisions on your own.
4. A Durable Power of Attorney. Assigning an attorney or other individuals that would act on your behalf and in your best interests if you become disabled or cannot communicate your wishes on your own. Individuals with a DPOA take care of legal and financial matters such as investments, banking, taxes, real estate, etc.
5. Revocable Living Trust. Providing instructions about what should happen to your assets and property while you are alive, if you become disabled, and when you pass away.
Consult our best Wesley Chapel estate planning attorneys who will walk you through the process of developing an estate plan according to your wishes.
Keep in mind that without an estate plan in place, your family members will most likely have to engage in long and costly legal battles over the division of your assets and property.
Not to mention that creditors or the government may outstretch their bureaucratic hands to meddle in your finances, real estate, guardianship, etc.