Do I Need a Will?
Having a will is arguably one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. No one likes to think about death or health problems, a will legally protects your spouse, children, and assets. A will package is crucial to ensuring your family is provided for and that your wishes are honored both while living and after you pass. Documents typically included in a will package may include:
Last Will and Testament
In a Will you decide how your estate will be distributed and name your personal representative (PR) to administer your estate. If you die without a will your assets will be distributed according to Florida Statutes rather than your wishes. When separated or when divorce is contemplated, the selection of PR and beneficiaries will need to be changed to reflect the elimination of your spouse or unintended consequences may occur.
Power of Attorney (POA)
A POA delegates your legal authority to someone else. If incapacitated or mentally incompetent, the trusted person makes decisions on your behalf both in day-to-day events and in emergency situations. If you do not have a POA and can no longer act for yourself, a guardianship action will have to be filed to have someone appointed to act for you.
Health Care Surrogate (HCS)
A HCS designates the individuals to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event you cannot make these decisions for yourself. The HCS allows decisions to give, withhold or withdraw any type of health care, treatments, interventions and hospitalization.
A Living Will is your written declaration directing what kind of medical treatments you do or do not want to receive in the event that you suffer from a terminal illness, end-stage condition, or are in a permanent vegetative state.
Declaration of Pre-Need Guardian
This document designates individuals to serve as your guardian (your person and/or your property) in the event you become incapacitated.
Declaration of Pre-Need Guardian for Minors
This document designates who will care for your minor children, if you and your spouse cannot.
Revocable Living Trust
A trust is generally used to avoid probate and provide continuity. A revocable trust is created to manage your assets during your lifetime and distribute the assets after your death. A trust is “revocable” because you may modify or terminate the trust during your lifetime.
Procrastination and the unwillingness to accept unexpected death or disability as part of life are common reasons for not having the proper documents. Sometimes the realization comes too late. Please call our office and schedule an appointment to discuss the best way to protect you and your family. We look forward to working with you! Call today for an appointment!