J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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What are the components of an estate plan?

Many people think of estate planning as a subject that applies only to wealthy people. However, estate planning encompasses a lot more than just finding ways to pass down huge sums of wealth while paying the least amount in taxes. In other words, many people in the Lakeland and Winter Haven areas can benefit from an estate plan; it's not just for the mega-wealthy. So, what does an estate plan for the average person look like?

One important component of estate plans is health care. An advance healthcare directive, for example, allows a person to plan for their medical care if they ever become incapacitated and cannot make decisions later in life. Likewise, a power of attorney, which is part of an advance healthcare directive, vests someone else with the power to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the person making the estate plan.

Another important component of an estate plan is, of course, a will. A person's will specifies who inherits that person's assets when they die. Even if the person has a modest amount of assets, drafting a will can help to prevent family disputes in the future.

Trusts can also be a valuable part of an estate plan. Through a trust a person can protect their assets from the probate process. In addition, a person can also use a trust to take care of dependent children or other relatives when the person dies.

A thorough estate plan can be valuable for many people. Not just when it comes to preserving assets for future generations, but also in terms of healthcare and end-of-life decisions.

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