Selecting a power of attorney (POA) is one of the most personal and important decisions you will make. This decision should be made very thoughtfully and with extreme care. Key factors in the process of choosing someone should include trust, competency and an overall understanding that this person will be acting in your best interests (not their own). It is okay to choose someone whose opinions differ from yours so long as they understand that they are not acting on behalf of their own life, they are acting on behalf of yours. The phrase "putting yourself in someone else's shoes," directly applies here.
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?
Last month, this Florida blog discussed a dispute about the estate of the late Hall of Fame baseball player, Ernie Banks. In his last will, Banks left all of his assets to his caretaker. His surviving children are challenging Banks's final will, arguing that his caretaker improperly influenced his decision to leave her all of his assets. Regardless of the outcome, this case can serve as a good lesson for other Floridians who want to protect their families from similar problems in the future.
Few people can live out their last years of life without needing some kind of assistance. As people age, they need more and more help from their loved ones and others around them. For people who have amassed a substantial estate during their lifetimes, this may include the need for help managing that estate as they get older. Other elderly people need help when it comes to making important decisions about their health and treatment.
Under Florida law, there are many ways to protect yourself in case of a medical emergency. While people may think that doctors are able to make important decisions, often the patients have the final say over medical care and treatment. If patients are not able to make these decisions, there can be questions about how an individual would like to be treated in any given case. In order to alleviate any potential questions, people are encouraged to create a comprehensive healthcare strategy as part of their advanced estate planning.
For many people, health changes in life can be unexpected. While someone can be completely healthy one day, the next they can be fighting to survive. Because life is so unpredictable, it is important to plan for emergencies. A durable power of attorney can be a useful tool when planning for life's unexpected accidents.
In this day and age, it is not uncommon to have the details of one's life documented in some form or way. When it comes to drafting a will or an estate plan, some individuals seek to include many items. Our firm understands that Florida residents not only seek to protect assets but also want to address other pressing issues when they draft a will. For many, wills are not only a way to ensure that their property and assets pass to their descendants upon their death, but also address what will occur if they are incapacitated. Individuals seek to accomplish much when they draft a will, which makes will execution very important.
Thinking about one's eventual demise is not something many people in Florida are eager to do. However, when it comes to inheritances it is good for people to both have an estate plan and discuss that plan with their heirs and beneficiaries.
There is a persistent estate planning myth that Florida residents may have heard. Some believe that estate planning is only necessary for the very wealthy -- that is, those with large amounts of assets. However, estate planning can serve many valuable purposes for almost any person, regardless of the amount of assets he or she may have.
Some Florida residents may have a vague understanding of what estate planning entails, but may not be quite sure of what exact components are involved. This is understandable, as there are many estate planning myths that float around. Estate planning, in the minds of many, entails death and taxes and large inheritances. While these undoubtedly play a part in estate planning, there is much more to it.