What Are the 5 Things You Need in Your Estate Plan in Florida?

A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows you to decide how to distribute your assets after your passing. A Will contains the definition of assets, the names of beneficiaries, and sometimes includes guardianship designations and burial instructions. A Will also appoints an executor, or personal representative, of the will. A personal representative is someone who will pay remaining taxes after your passing and make sure the Will is being executed correctly and in accordance with your wishes.  

What is a Last Will & Testament in Florida?

A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that allows you to decide how to distribute your assets after your passing. A Will contains the definition of assets, the names of beneficiaries, and sometimes includes guardianship designations and burial instructions. A Will also appoints an executor, or personal representative, of the will. A personal representative is someone who will pay remaining taxes after your passing and make sure the Will is being executed correctly and in accordance with your wishes.

In Florida, for a Will to be valid, it has to be signed at the end by the testator and by two witnesses in the presence of the person creating the will. In Florida, a Will does not have to notarized to be valid. However, in order to be self-proving, the Will needs to be self-proving. To make a will self-proving, it has to contain specific language and be notarized. The necessity for the will to be self-proving could be important during the probate process.

What is a Revocable Living Trust in Florida?

A Revocable Trust is a private legal agreement made between the trustee and the settlor which details how your trust assets will be held, invested, and distributed both during your lifetime and upon your death. In most cases, the trustee and settlor will be the same person. You can change and amend your trust at any point through a formal amendment, as long as you have the necessary legal capacity to do so. Trusts can help avoid a probate proceeding in multiple jurisdictions if you own property in different states.

Additionally, a trust, unlike a will, keeps your assets and the names of your beneficiaries private because it does not need to be deposited with a court in Florida.

What is a General Durable Power of Attorney?

A General Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that authorizes a trusted person to act on your behalf on financial matters, such as: signing checks and tax returns, entering into contracts, buying or selling real estate, opening and closing bank accounts, and more. In Florida, the general durable power of attorney becomes effective the moment it is signed, so it is crucial to keep it in a secure location until the need for it arises.

What is a Health Care Power of Attorney in Miami?

A Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to designate a trusted person to speak to medical professionals on your behalf. This includes making medical decisions for you, as soon as the documents is signed and in the event you become incapacitated or unable to convey your own decision. It is very important to have a health care power of attorney prepared in a case of an emergency, so you would have peace of mind as to who will be making those most important decisions for your life and health.

What is a Living Will/Advanced Directives in Florida?

This document is where you indicate your end of life wishes and desires. For example, in the event that you are in a persistent vegetative state / end stage condition / terminal condition, you can decide if you would want to be kept on life support, not be kept on life support, or would you leave the decision to your agent. It also allows you to include any other directives you would like to be followed. It is also very important to have a living will/advanced directives prepared in a case of an emergency, so you would have peace of mind as to what will occur to you in the event of severe incapacitation.

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If you would like more information estate planning, please contact one of our experienced Trusts & Estates Attorneys at EPGD Business Law. EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables, West Palm Beach and historic Washington D.C. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

Categories: Estate Planning

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