No one likes to think about death or health problems, however these documents are crucial to ensuring your family is provided for and that your wishes are honored both while you are living and after you pass away. Documents typically included in a will package may include some or all of the following:
Last Will and Testament: A last will and testament is a document which allows you to have control over how your assets (house, car, personal belongings, etc.) are distributed after your death, to name your personal representative (the person responsible for administering your estate), and to establish care for your minor children. Having a last will and testament is very important because if you die without a will your assets will be distributed according to Florida Statutes rather than according to your specific wishes.
Power of Attorney: A power of attorney allows you to appoint a person to be your attorney-in-fact or, in other words, act on your behalf in conducting both day to day business and in emergency situations in which you cannot act for yourself. This document is only effective during your lifetime and is effective regardless of whether you are incapacitated. A power of attorney can be tailored to permit the attorney-in-fact to act on your behalf in many different situations or only in limited situations of your choosing.
Health Care Surrogate: A health care surrogate allows you to designate a person whom you would like to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated and cannot make these decisions yourself. Such decisions include, but are not limited to, diagnostic procedures, medical treatment, and surgical procedures.
Living Will: A living will allows you to declare 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. This document does not become effective unless you become incapacitated, which means that until then you’ll be able to say what treatments you do or do not wish to receive.
Declaration of Pre-Need Guardian: A declaration of pre-need guardian allows you to designate an individual that you would like to serve as your guardian (both for your person and your property) in the event that you become incapacitated.
Trust: A trust is a document in which is generally used by persons with assets valued at $500,000 or more. In most situations, you (the Grantor) will be a Trustee of your own trust. Additionally, a trust allows you to designate one or more Successor Trustee to act prior to and/or after your death. After a trust has been signed, then you must transfer your assets into the trust in order for the trust to administer the assets as directed. A trust may be established for individuals, married couples, and entire families.
Please visit our office to discuss the options available to best protect you and your family. We look forward to working with you!