Why Having a Comprehensive Florida Estate Plan is More Important Than Ever
When 2020 rolled around, no one could have predicted that there would be a global pandemic and that the world would effectively be in a shutdown. Getting sick while this current health crisis is going on can be a terrifying thought. With health professionals stretched thin and visitors not allowed in most hospitals and clinics, it’s even more important to ensure you have a Florida estate plan in place.
Having a will is only one aspect of your estate plan to consider. You also want to make sure that you have advance directives in place that will determine what lifesaving measures you want taken and who will be your health care proxy. Preparing for incapacitation is more important than ever. This is where a skilled West Palm Beach estate planning attorney can help.
If you already have an estate plan in place, make sure it’s updated and reflects your current wishes and beneficiaries.
Double Check Your Asset Protection
Do you have properties in your own name or in a single-member LLC? Potential creditors will have more access to your personal assets, which is why you want to make sure it’s better protected. Your attorney can sit down and go over your assets and let you know which ones are most at risk for creditors.
Do You Have a Durable Power of Attorney?
Do you have a durable power of attorney prepared? If so, double-check that everything is in order and that it conforms to current laws. There were some changes in Florida law in 2012. If your durable power of attorney is older, you will want to have an attorney review it to ensure it’s still valid.
Life Insurance Policies
Do you have a life insurance policy? Have you been considering purchasing one? It’s better to have one while you are still healthy, and the younger you purchase it the better. If you already have a life insurance policy, have you double-checked who the policy owner is and who the beneficiary designations are? In some cases, it makes better sense to have your life insurance held in an irrevocable life insurance trust to help avoid any estate taxes.
Have there been any major changes in your life since your estate plan was created? Perhaps you got married or divorced. Did you have a child or maybe a grandchild? Any of these events are important triggers to review your current estate plan and make changes as necessary.
Update Advance Directives
Do you have documents in your estate plan that will cover you in case you are incapacitated? If you are in an accident or fall ill, you may not be in any position to handle your health care decisions or manage your finances. Without a plan, the court may appoint a guardian. You want to make sure you have someone you trust make your medical decisions.
Especially now, you want to make sure your medical wishes are documented in a living will. This will let others know what treatments you want and don’t want, plus provide guidance on decisions on topics like pain management or donating your organs.
Contact a West Palm Beach Estate Planning Attorney
If you need assistance starting your estate plan, or updating an existing one, contact a West Palm Beach estate planning lawyer at the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.