COVID-19 AND YOUR ESTATE PLAN
Since Florida is under quarantine orders, many of us are staying at home and uncertain about what is yet to come during these unprecedented times. The pandemic may have you asking yourself questions like –
- Who will make medical decisions if you cannot make them yourself?
- What will happen to your possessions if something were to happen to you?
- Are your estate plan documents up to date and do they protect you and your family in your current situation?
We understand that it may be difficult to address these questions, but we’re here to help! Creating a plan today will provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones now and in the future.
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I Already Have an Estate Plan, why is it important to review it now?
Now is a good time to get out your estate planning documents and to carefully review them.
- Can you find them?
- Do your heirs know where to find them?
- Have any of your wishes or circumstances changed since you had your existing documents prepared?
If you cannot locate them and are unsure of who prepared them for you in the past, we can help you prepare a new estate plan. If your situation has changed, we can assist you in updating your estate plan to reflect these changes and revising the documents to better suit your current circumstances.
I Think I may Need to Create an Estate Plan
It is not too late to create your estate plan. We offer a free telephone or video consultation to go over the details of your current assets, family situation and wishes. Once all the information is compiled, we can prepare your documents and schedule a future meeting to go over them in detail.
What Documents Should I Have in Place?
Health Care Surrogate
A health care surrogate allows you to designate who will make important health decisions on your behalf and receive health care information from your doctors. This document will assist your loved ones in caring for you if anything were to happen to you. It also allows them to communicate with medical providers regarding your health and treatment.
A living will allows you to decide ahead of time whether you want life-prolonging treatment should you be in a terminal state. This is an important choice to be made with your loved ones in advance of a medical emergency.
Last Will and Testament
This document allows you to decide how your property will be distributed when you pass away and who will act as Personal Representative to carry out your wishes. When you pass away a Probate Judge must find that your Will was executed properly under Florida law and then distributions will be made to your beneficiaries through probate proceedings.
Power of Attorney
This document allows you to appoint the person who will act in your place for financial purposes if you were to become incapacitated. That person will be able to handle your financial affairs without needing a Court to appoint them.
Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust can save resources by distributing property immediately to your beneficiaries when you pass away. It avoids probate court, avoids guardianship court, provides asset protection for your beneficiaries, and provides protection for individuals with special needs.
Assets like bank accounts, life insurance, annuities, and IRA’s allow you to designate a beneficiary upon passing away. Make sure a beneficiary has been designated if you have not done so already or be sure to update your beneficiary if you want to make a change. Assets without a beneficiary will have to pass through probate court.
How Can I Get My Documents Completed?
An essential part of estate planning is being sure your documents have been completed and executed correctly. Without attorney guidance, signers can get it wrong, often creating invalid documents.
The health and safety of our clients and staff are extremely important to us. We are offering drive-up and social-distancing signings and notarizations. We can also schedule telephone or video appointments to answer any questions (727) 287-6316
These are challenging times, but we are in this together – Stay Safe!
To schedule a complimentary consultation