Beyond the most well-known documents like your will, or trusts, there are several more that can do a lot to build a strong estate plan. When you work with The Millman Law Group, your lawyer will help you draw up the estate planning documents that will help you plan for cases of incapacitation, guardianship for your children, and other significant life events. Ask your lawyer about the following essential documents and how they may help you create your best estate plan.
This document contains instructions for medical decisions if you are incapacitated and unable to make those decisions yourself. For example, living wills may include a “Do Not Resuscitate” provision. Placing your medical care preferences in this document may be difficult, but it is better than leaving it to chance if something happens. Additionally, it saves your distraught family members from deciding for you when you are incapacitated.
Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney grants authority to another individual to handle specific matters on your behalf. For instance, granting power of attorney may permit someone to pay your bills, manage your business, or sell your home. This power is typically transferred when you become incapacitated. When discussing who will be granted power of attorney, make sure to choose someone who can carry out your wishes and who will have the time and ability to act on your behalf.
Guardianship for Minors
The estate planning documents mentioned also allow you to designate who you would wish to be the guardian of your children if something happened to you. These designations apply if you and the children’s other legal guardian or parent are incapacitated.
When you designate who you wish to be the guardian of your minor children, the court will be able to respect your wishes rather than selecting the next of kin or other relatives who you may not wish to raise your children.
Consider Including Secondary Designations
It does occasionally happen that the person you choose as your health care surrogate, power of attorney, or guardian will not be able to serve in that capacity when the time comes. Before designating these roles, it can be helpful to talk to that person about your intention to name them. However, it also helps to include secondary agent/guardian designations. This way, if the first person you choose cannot serve in that role for any reason, your alternative choice can step up.
Enhanced Life Estate Deed, or “Lady Bird Deed”
Estate planning documents are legal tools to ensure that your wishes for your assets and estate are carried out. In Florida, you can add an Enhanced Life Estate Deed, or Lady Bird Deed, to retain a life estate in a property while you are still alive. The property passes directly to the intended beneficiaries when the owner dies. It differs from a typical Life Estate deed in that the owner can sell, rent, or change the property without permission from the future beneficiaries.
After drawing up your estate planning documents, make sure they are stored with your lawyer and that you make timely updates as life changes occur that might influence your estate.
Estate Planning Made Easy With Millman Law Group
Millman Law Group, PLLC is rare because it’s one of the only law firms that offer life planning in South Florida. From life care planning to the preparation of detailed estate plans, Millman Law Group has committed to serving Floridian elderly communities in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Ocean Ridge, Hillsboro Beach, and many other areas since 2018. Our dedicated team also specializes in special needs trusts and catering to any age demographic because we know for certain it’s never too early to start preparing you and your family for your future. For the latest news in estate planning and elder care law, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Pinterest. You can also contact us at 561-463-6480.