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Wills, Living Wills, Trusts

A will is a formal, written document which tells how you want to give away your possessions after you die.  A will is one of three essential documents everyone needs in their estate plan. The other essential documents are a power of attorney, and a healthcare document.  these documents can help provide for your care and comfort during your lifetime, as well as after to pass away. A well-drafted, and properly executed will can help you avoid probate when it is part of a carefully planned estate.

In Florida, wills must conform to the requirements of Florida statutes. They are must be self-proving. Poorly drafted, and improperly executed wills are subject to challenge. If a will is invalidated in probate court, the probate process can become more complicated. 

Living Wills

A living will, as drafted by our attorneys, is three documents in one. It includes a designation of healthcare surrogate. This part of the document allows you to name someone to speak with your doctors and medical providers to make sure that your healthcare wishes are carried out.  The next portion of the document is a HIPPA release that gives your healthcare surrogate the right to receive medical information and make informed decisions on your behalf.  The final portion of the document is a living will which tells others how you want to be cared for in the event that you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself.

Trusts

In very general terms, a trust is a financial tool for holding assets. Because there are so many different types of trusts, they must be drafted to suit your specific circumstances. One of the more popular types of trusts are revocable trusts, also sometimes called family trusts. These trusts can be part of a complex estate plan designed to avoid probate altogether, allowing families to pass assets to their loved ones avoiding probate all together.

Trusts are also valuable tools when planning for individuals with disabilities while preserving their government benefits.  ABLE trusts are used to provide income to disabled individuals who are diagnosed with a qualifying disability before age 26. Special needs trusts, and other types of qualified trusts as part of Medicaid preplanning and Medicaid crisis planning.

If you have more questions about any of the topics discussed in this post, or would like to speak with an attorney, make an appointment today.

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