Tag: asset protection

How Errors in Your Florida Estate Planning Documents Can Derail Your Goals

Did you know estate planning is a critical process that ensures your assets are managed and distributed according to your wishes after your passing? It involves the preparation of various legal documents, such as last will and testaments, trust agreements, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives, each serving a unique purpose in safeguarding your legacy and providing for your loved ones. 

What you may not realize, however, is the effectiveness of your estate plan hinges on the accuracy and relevancy of these documents. Errors, outdated information, or non-compliance with Florida-specific laws can lead to significant complications, potentially derailing your carefully laid plans. Critical issues like these can result in increased legal costs, prolonged probate proceedings, unintended tax liabilities, and even disputes among your heirs. Understanding the common pitfalls in estate planning and proactively addressing them with the guidance of an experienced Florida estate planning attorney can help ensure your goals are achieved and your loved ones are protected. We want to dive into them right here on our blog.

  1. Documents not specific to Florida. Estate planning laws vary significantly from state to state. If your documents were created in another state and have not been reviewed or updated since you moved to Florida, they may not comply with Florida law. This can lead to unintended tax consequences, probate issues, or even the invalidation of your documents.

 

  1. Outdated documents. Estate planning documents that are over ten years old may no longer reflect your current wishes or financial situation. You need to know that changes in your family dynamics, such as marriages, divorces, births, and deaths, can all impact your estate plan. Additionally, the value of your assets may have changed, requiring updates to your distribution plans.

 

  1. Changes in the law. Laws governing estate planning are subject to change. If your documents have not been reviewed in several years, they may not take into account recent changes in the law. For example, changes in tax laws can affect the tax efficiency of your estate plan, and updates in probate law can impact how your assets are distributed.

 

  1. Death of a decision-maker. If a person named in your estate planning documents, such as an executor, trustee, or power of attorney, has passed away, your documents need to be updated to appoint a new decision-maker. Failure to do so can result in delays and complications in administering your estate.

 

  1. Incorrect or incomplete beneficiary designations. Errors in beneficiary designations on accounts like life insurance, retirement plans, and payable-on-death accounts can cause these assets to be distributed contrary to your intentions. Ensure that all beneficiary designations are correctly aligned with your estate plan.

To avoid these common pitfalls, it is essential to work with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney who can help ensure your documents are up-to-date and compliant with current laws. An attorney who specializes in Florida estate planning law will have the expertise to ensure your documents are compliant with state-specific requirements. Your attorney can review your documents, if you have them, and make necessary updates to your documents to reflect changes in your family, assets, or decision-makers.

By taking these proactive steps, you can help ensure that your estate planning documents accurately reflect your wishes and protect your loved ones. We know this article raises more questions than it answers.  Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

5 Ways You Need to Know that Elder Financial Abuse Can Impact an Aging Parent

Elder financial abuse is a growing concern as the senior population increases. Did you know it involves the unauthorized or improper use of an elder’s funds, property, or assets? As more elders seek support and care, they can become increasingly vulnerable to financial exploitation from unscrupulous individuals, including strangers, caregivers, and even family members. This type of abuse not only depletes an elder’s financial resources but also undermines their emotional well-being and sense of security.

Understanding how financial abuse can occur is essential in protecting your aging parents, especially during June when the world focuses on this importance on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). After all, awareness is the first step towards prevention. By recognizing the signs and methods of financial exploitation, you can take proactive measures to safeguard your loved ones’ assets. In our blog right here, we will explore five common ways elder financial abuse can happen and offer practical tips on how to prevent it, ensuring that your parents remain financially secure and protected from harm.

  1. Unauthorized access to bank accounts. Perpetrators may gain access to an elder’s bank accounts through stolen checks, ATM cards, or by gaining online banking information. They might make unauthorized withdrawals or purchases, draining the elder’s funds.

 

  1. Identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone uses the elder’s personal information, such as Social Security number or credit card details, to open new accounts, apply for loans, or make purchases. This can severely damage the elder’s credit and financial stability.

 

  1. Investment fraud. Elders are often targeted by scammers who pitch fraudulent investment opportunities. These scams can take the form of fake stocks, bonds, real estate, or other investments that promise high returns but result in significant financial losses.

 

  1. Telemarketing and charity scams. Scammers often use telemarketing calls or fake charities to solicit money from elders. They might pretend to represent a legitimate organization or create an urgent, emotional appeal to convince the elder to send money.

 

  1. Exploiting cognitive impairments. Elders with cognitive impairments, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease, are particularly vulnerable to financial abuse. Abusers may take advantage of their confusion or forgetfulness to steal money, forge signatures, or manipulate financial transactions.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers.  Your goal is to protect those you love most and an experienced elder and estate planning attorney can help you. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Why You Shouldn’t Put Off Long-Term Care Planning in the New Year

As we embrace the New Year, it is a time for resolutions and planning. While most people focus on lifestyle changes, there is an equally important aspect that often gets overlooked and that is long-term care planning. For Florida seniors and their families, early planning for long-term care is not just prudent; it is essential. While we know this is not a topic anyone wants to discuss, it is critical and, unfortunately, delaying this crucial step can have significant consequences.

One of the main reasons why delays can be so damaging is the simple fact that it can be a challenge to find care in a crisis. Imagine facing a health crisis only to realize that the care you need is hard to find or not readily available. This scenario is far from rare among the elderly. When a sudden health issue arises, families often find themselves scrambling to arrange care, which can be both stressful and less than ideal. Pre-planning with your experienced Florida elder law attorney, however, can ensure that you have a well-thought-out care strategy in place, alleviating the rush and uncertainty that comes with last-minute decisions.

A key component that your experienced Florida elder law attorney will discuss with you is the necessity of comprehensive estate planning documents. This is something that needs attention before one loses the capacity to make decisions. For example, estate planning documents like a durable power of attorney, health care directives, and living wills are integral in ensuring that your wishes are respected and that someone you trust is making decisions on your behalf. These documents are not just pieces of paper; they are safeguards for your future self and peace of mind for your loved ones.

It is important to understand now that long-term care is not inexpensive. The daily and monthly costs can quickly deplete savings, leaving many seniors in financial distress. Early planning with your Florida elder law attorney allows you to explore different care options, understand their costs, and create a financial plan that can sustain these expenses. Further, planning early can also open doors to various public assistance programs like Medicaid, which can significantly ease the financial burden. However, qualifying for these programs often requires meeting specific criteria, which might involve structuring your finances in a certain way, well in advance.

There is no question that early planning for long-term care is not just about financial readiness; it is also about having choices. The sooner you start planning, the more options you have for quality care. You will have the time to research different long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities, or home care services, understand their benefits and drawbacks, and make an informed decision. Additionally, early planning can often lead to better health outcomes, as you are more likely to receive the care that matches your needs and preferences.

Long-term care planning is an integral part of aging gracefully and with dignity. As we step into the New Year, let’s not delay this essential planning. Remember, it is not just about preparing for the unforeseen; it is about ensuring quality of life and peace of mind for both you and your loved ones. As an experienced Florida elder law firm, we can provide the guidance and support needed to navigate these complex decisions, ensuring that your long-term care plan is robust, comprehensive, and tailored to your unique situation. We want you to start this New Year with a resolution that truly matters – plan for your long-term care. It is a gift of security and comfort for your future self and your family. 

Now this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys

6 Ways You Can Support a Loved One Recently Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease

Receiving an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis can be a daunting experience, both for the individual diagnosed and for their loved ones. As the disease progresses, it can create challenges on multiple fronts, making a supportive network essential. If someone you love has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, we know you may have questions.

November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and, unfortunately, research tells us there are over 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s Disease with 3 million new cases diagnosed each year. Let us share six meaningful ways you can stand by them and support them as they navigate this challenging time.

  1. Educate yourself about the disease. To offer genuine support, understanding the nature of Alzheimer’s is crucial. Familiarize yourself with the progression of the disease, potential symptoms, and treatments. Resources like the Alzheimer’s Association provide valuable insights. This knowledge will not only equip you to assist your loved one but will also foster empathy and patience.
  2. Open a line of communication. Encourage open and regular conversations with your loved one. While it may be difficult, discussing their feelings, fears, and concerns about the diagnosis is crucial. It gives them an avenue to express themselves and reinforces the fact that they are not facing this challenge alone.
  3. Create a safe and predictable environment. As Alzheimer’s Disease progresses, familiar surroundings can provide comfort. Making their environment safe and predictable can prevent potential accidents. This might involve removing clutter, clearly labeling items, and using alarms or reminders for important tasks.
  4. Ensure estate planning is current and accurate. Legal and financial preparations are integral for someone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. They will want to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to make certain that their estate planning is up-to-date. This includes having a current last will and testament or trust agreement, designating power of attorney, and ensuring that advanced medical directives are in place. When you consult with an attorney who specializes in estate planning and elder law, they can provide guidance tailored to your loved one’s needs, ensuring that their wishes are honored and their assets protected.
  5. Be patient and stay engaged. Engage your loved one in activities that they enjoy. Whether it’s listening to music, crafting, or taking walks, these activities can help maintain their cognitive function and offer moments of joy. Also, be prepared for changes in behavior and mood. Approach them with patience, understanding that these shifts are a result of the disease.
  6. Seek support for yourself. Caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease can be emotionally and physically taxing. It’s essential to take care of your well-being too. Consider joining a support group for Alzheimer’s caregivers, seeking counseling, or simply setting aside time for self-care. Your well-being directly influences the quality of care you can provide.

Supporting a loved one with Alzheimer’s Disease requires a multifaceted approach, encompassing emotional, physical, and legal aspects. While the journey may be challenging, remember that with knowledge, patience, and a strong support system, both you and your loved one can navigate this chapter of your lives with resilience and hope.

We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

What Should I Know If I Am a Beneficiary of a Trust Agreement?

Have you just been informed that you are a beneficiary of a trust agreement? Are you familiar with what a trust is? In the state of Florida trusts are a fundamental part of Florida estate planning, offering a means to protect and manage assets for the benefit of specific individuals or entities. While trusts provide a structured framework for wealth management, it is essential to grasp the rights that beneficiaries hold within this legal arrangement. We would like to familiarize you with the rights that trust beneficiaries possess with a trust agreement and reveal how these rights can shape their interactions with both the trust and its trustees.

1. You, as a trust beneficiary, do have a right to information. Be aware that when the trust becomes active you, as a trust beneficiary, have the right to be kept informed about the trust’s details and operations. Trustees are obligated to provide accurate and complete information, offering insights into trust assets, investments, distributions, and any significant transactions. This transparency ensures that you are aware of the status of the trust and can make informed decisions when requested to do so.

2. You, as a trust beneficiary, may have a right to distributions. You need to know that the primary purpose of a trust is to provide benefits to its beneficiaries. Depending on the terms outlined in the trust document, beneficiaries may have the right to receive distributions, whether those are regular income payments, lump-sum distributions, or other forms of benefits. The provisions of the trust will determine the timing and nature of these distributions but in management of the trust there should be transparency with regard to these potential payments or other forms of distributions.

3. You, as a trust beneficiary, have a right to an accounting. Be mindful that accountability is paramount in trust management. You, as a trust beneficiary, are entitled to an accurate and comprehensive accounting of trust activities. This includes information about the trust’s assets, liabilities, income, expenses, and distributions. This right ensures that trustees are held accountable for their management of the trust and that beneficiaries can verify the trustee’s actions.

4. You, as a trust beneficiary, have a right to challenge. Know that if beneficiaries believe that a trustee has acted improperly or breached their fiduciary duties, they have the right to challenge these actions. When working with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney, this might involve filing a lawsuit to rectify the situation, seek damages, or remove an unfit trustee. Beneficiaries’ rights to challenge makes sure that trust assets are managed in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

5. You, as a trust beneficiary, may have the right to terminate or modify.  Finally, be aware that in certain circumstances, beneficiaries may have the right to request the modification or termination of a trust. This could be due to changes in circumstances, the achievement of the trust’s purpose, or other valid reasons. The ability to modify or terminate a trust ensures that the trust’s provisions remain aligned with beneficiaries’ evolving needs and goals which your experienced Florida estate planning attorney can explain to you.

It is important to note that while you, as a trust beneficiary, have rights, trustees also have their own set of responsibilities. Trustees are legally obligated to act in the best interests of the beneficiaries, manage trust assets prudently, provide accurate accounting, and carry out the terms of the trust document faithfully.

You, as a trust beneficiary, play a pivotal role in the success and effectiveness of a trust. Understanding the rights bestowed upon beneficiaries within the trust framework is crucial for both beneficiaries and trustees. As a trust beneficiary, knowing your rights empowers you to actively engage in the administration of the trust, ensuring that it serves your best interests and aligns with your financial goals. For trustees, adhering to beneficiaries’ rights is a fundamental aspect of fulfilling your fiduciary duties and maintaining the trust’s integrity.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Key Estate Planning Tips for Consideration in Digital Asset Management

Are you aware that in this digital age, Florida estate planning has become more complex? One reason is because of the increasing presence of digital assets that need to be planned for. What do we mean by digital assets? Digital assets refer to any form of content or information that exists in a digital format and holds value to individuals or businesses. Know that these assets encompass a wide range of items, including online accounts, social media profiles, cryptocurrencies, digital photos and videos, intellectual property, and more.

It is important to recognize that the value of digital assets can be both financial and sentimental. By working with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney you can include provisions for the management, distribution, or preservation of these assets in your estate plan to ensure that your digital legacy is properly created. Because of their unique nature, digital assets may require more strategic planning which your experienced Florida estate planning attorney may assist you with. 

Now, as digital assets continue to become both more complex and more prevalent, we have a few key estate planning tips in digital asset management that we share with many of our clients today.

  1. You need a detailed inventory. You need to begin by creating an inventory of all your digital assets. You should have a list of all your platforms, accounts, and any associated login credentials. It is important to keep this inventory updated and stored securely.
  1. You need to review the terms of service for each of your assets. We know that this is a constantly evolving area and can be subject to change at any time, usually at the sole discretion of the company that created the digital asset. So be sure to familiarize yourself with the terms of service and user agreements of the platforms where your digital assets reside. Be aware that some platforms have specific provisions regarding the transfer or management of accounts upon the user’s death or incapacity although this is not the norm.
  1. You need to give authority to your agent, your personal representative, and your trustee. You need to be sure that each of these three individuals, or one individual depending on the nature of your Florida estate plan, has the specific written authority to manage and dispose of your digital assets. 
  1. You need to create a central password manager for digital assets that are in your Florida estate plan. You could think about using password manager applications to securely store and manage your login credentials. Under the guidance of your Florida estate planning attorney you may want to go a step further and provide your future decision maker with the necessary access credentials to this central password manager account. While this will include usernames and passwords, it may also include two-factor authentication methods.
  1. You need to specify digital asset distribution. You need to work with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney to clearly outline your wishes for the distribution or disposal of specific digital assets in your Florida estate plan. This can include transferring ownership, deleting accounts, or preserving certain assets for sentimental or historical purposes.
  1. You need to regularly review, update, and manage your digital accounts. Digital assets and online platforms evolve rapidly as opposed to the ownership and access to more traditional assets such as real property. You need to regularly review and update your Florida estate plan to reflect any changes in your digital asset inventory, platforms, or preferences. 

By incorporating these key estate planning tips in digital asset management, you can better manage and protect your digital assets, ensuring that your digital legacy is handled according to your wishes. Remember, working with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney in this area is critical to remain up-to-date with changing laws and technologies that could impact your goals for your digital assets.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Safeguarding Your Legacy by Avoiding Common Mistakes in Will Creation

Did you know that creating a last will and testament is an essential and often overlooked aspect of responsible lifetime planning? It is a testament to your lifelong efforts to provide for yourself and those you love most. When you take the time to develop not only a last will and testament but an estate plan, you are ensuring that your hard-earned assets and cherished possessions are distributed according to your wishes after you pass away and that there are protections in place to take care of you in the event of incapacity during your lifetime.

A well-crafted Florida estate plan must be clear, specific, and unambiguous to avoid confusion and potential conflicts both during your life and at the time of your passing. Vague language or poorly articulated instructions could leave room for interpretation, leading to disagreements and estrangements among family members or other beneficiaries. 

Unfortunately, many individuals make the critical mistake of attempting to create a will without seeking professional guidance from an experienced Florida estate planning attorney. 

Consulting with a Florida estate planning attorney allows you to express your wishes precisely and in a legally enforceable manner, leaving no room for doubt. Deciding to create a Florida estate plan is a life changing decision. When you decide to be proactive and not only make a Florida estate plan to create your legacy but also to protect those you love during your lifetime and at the time of your passing, you are setting intentions to protect your future. While creating a last will and testament is an essential part of your Florida estate planning, it is crucial to do so correctly to ensure your final wishes and goals can not only be reached but are carried out smoothly. 

Unfortunately, many individuals make the critical mistake of attempting to create a will without seeking professional guidance from an experienced Florida estate planning attorney. Although the notion of creating a do-it-yourself last will and testament might appear attractive due to its potential cost-saving allure, it can ultimately result in substantial legal and financial entanglements in the future. On the other hand, entrusting the task to an experienced Florida estate planning attorney proves invaluable as she brings her expertise to the table. By skillfully navigating the complexities of the legal landscape, your Florida estate planning attorney can ensure that your entire Florida estate plan remains not only legally sound but also thoughtfully designed to mitigate any potential disputes and alleviate tax burdens on both your beloved family members and your lasting legacy.

We know you have questions on how to avoid the biggest mistakes out there when it comes to Florida estate planning. Let us share ways to avoid the biggest mistakes people make when creating not only their Florida will but their Florida estate plan. 

  1. Seeking counsel from an experienced Florida estate planning attorney is paramount. Among the most critical errors individuals make is attempting to craft a will or estate plan without the guidance of a seasoned professional. By consulting with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney, you can adeptly navigate the intricate legal intricacies, ensure the plan you develop together is legally valid and binding, and effectively diminish the likelihood of disputes arising following your passing.
  1. Make a habit of regularly updating your Florida estate plan. Life is full of changes, including marriages, divorces, births, deaths, and acquiring new assets. To ensure your Florida estate plan accurately reflects your current desires, it is crucial to periodically review and update it with your Florida estate planning attorney, particularly when significant life events occur. By staying proactive, you can maintain a well-tailored plan that aligns perfectly with your evolving circumstances and wishes.
  1. Always consider contingencies when planning your estate. Collaborate with your Florida estate planning attorney to prepare for various scenarios in the event that your primary beneficiaries pass away before you do. By designating contingent beneficiaries, you guarantee that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes, even if the initial beneficiaries are no longer alive. This thoughtful approach to estate planning ensures that your legacy remains intact, regardless of unforeseen circumstances.
  1. Do not forget to include digital assets. In the digital age, it is essential to address your digital assets, such as online accounts, social media profiles, and digital files. Specify how you want these assets to be handled after your death.
  1. Store your will securely. Ensure your Florida will, and your entire Florida estate plan, is kept in a safe place and that your executor and trusted family members know where to find it. A safe deposit box or secure digital storage are good options but discuss with your Florida estate planning attorney to see what is recommended.
  1. Effectively communicate your wishes. Though not a legal obligation, engaging in open discussions about your will and estate plan with your family can significantly mitigate misunderstandings and potential conflicts in the future. Moreover, selecting the appropriate personal representative to manage your estate upon your passing is crucial to ensure a smooth and faithful execution of your wishes. By thoughtfully discussing your plans and choosing a responsible representative, you foster an environment of clarity, trust, and harmony that will safeguard your legacy and bring peace of mind to your loved ones during challenging times. Before you take this step, discuss the pros and cons with your Florida estate planning attorney.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

When Should You Initiate Your Estate Planning Process?

Are you currently living in Florida? Are you healthy, with a growing family, active lifestyle and thriving business? However, have you begun to wonder the following: when should you initiate your estate planning process?   Be aware that a Florida estate plan is a crucial tool for all adults to have. Estate planning allows us to think about what we want for ourselves, our loved ones, our business, and our legacy. Although it addresses what happens at the end of our lives, it is so much more than that. Estate planning makes us answer tough questions including, but not limited to, what would happen if we no longer have the capacity we need to make our own decisions, who do we want in charge of our finances if we are incapacitated or who should be our beneficiaries?

Understanding you need a Florida estate plan is the first step forward to plan for your future. The next step is to ask: When should you initiate the process to create your estate plan? As Florida estate planning attorneys,  we are frequently asked this question and want to share five important events with you. 

  1. When you become an adult. Think your 18th birthday is too young? Think again, it is not!  If you do not have a Florida estate plan in place, there will be no one who has legal authority to make decisions for you in the event you are in a car accident or other crisis. In other words, no one will be able to pay your bills, access your bank accounts, or talk to your doctors. Your Florida estate planning attorney can work with you to create an estate plan that will protect you and let you name the people you want to be in charge of you in a crisis in your documents. Your estate planning attorney can also talk to you about how to create a legacy and plan for a time when you are no longer here.
  1. When you are planning to get married. Marriage is a wonderful event and you will want to plan with the person you love for your life together. It is an opportunity to think about how you want to protect and provide for each other. There is no better way to do that than with a Florida estate plan.  
  1. When you begin to have children.  When you have children, planning becomes even more important. You need to begin to think about and answer questions like: Who should care for my children if something happens to me? When should they inherit? How can I provide for their future if I am no longer here? These are the questions your Florida estate plan can answer when you work with an estate planning attorney. 
  1. If and when you receive an inheritance. It does not matter if you receive a small or large inheritance, it is important to protect it. The person who left you this money may have had clear instructions for you that you want to copy in your own estate plan or you may have inherited through a messy process that you do not want others to go through. Whatever your reason, this is a good time to meet with your Florida estate planning attorney and plan forward. 
  1. When you are beginning to start your own business. It is important that during your start up process to consider all the ways to protect yourself, your family, and your business from what comes next.  Your Florida estate planning attorney can not only help you design your estate plan but may also be able to advise you on your new business.

 

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

Preparing for Summer Adventures: Essential Estate Planning Checklist for Travelers

Summer is here, are you ready to travel? Are you staying close to home? Or are you traveling to another state or out of the country to spend time with family and friends?  It seems that the travel choices you have now that the pandemic has lessened in its impact are countless. 

Are you vacationing with minor children or grandchildren who need their days planned with adventures or you are looking for adventure, or just getting a change of scenery or traveling to an exotic place with your loved ones? As you begin to prepare your summer adventures, have you added essential Florida estate planning to your checklist? We would like to share below on our blog a Florida estate planning checklist for travelers for you to complete before your summer adventure begins. It will enable you to travel with complete peace of mind.

  1. What about your mail? Be aware that neighbors and friends do not have the legal authority to pick up your mail while you are on your summer vacation. However, if you are gone for extended periods of time you do want someone to pick up your mail. So, under your Florida durable power of attorney, your agent would have the authority to pick up your mail if you were out of town.
  1. What about access to money, cash, and your bank accounts? How do you get access to your money while you are on vacation? Or if you need to make bank transfers? Or if you need to act on a business transaction or sell a piece of property? Your agent, under your Florida durable power of attorney, can be given the legal authority to handle these transactions on your behalf, and even work with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney to make sure it is handled correctly.
  1. What about health care decisions? While vacationing, if you were injured, unconscious, or seriously harmed to the point where you are incapacitated and not able to make decisions for yourself, who would make your healthcare decisions?  With your healthcare planning in your Florida advanced directives, you can identify not only a primary person to act in your place, but alternative choices in the event they are unable to act as well.
  1. Do you have travel insurance? Most summer travel has the opportunity to be covered by travel insurance and that is a good thing. However, the travel insurance company is not going to speak with someone who does not have legal authority to act on your behalf. Your Florida advanced directives will be a significant help should your travel insurance policy need to be activated by someone other than yourself.
  1. Do you have a plan in an emergency? While traveling, if something serious happens to you, your Florida estate plan will hold all the details of what to do. With the guidance of your experienced Florida estate planning attorney, your agent and your personal representative can work with your attorney to ensure your goals for your person and your legacy are met.

Finally, be sure to ask your experienced Florida estate planning attorney what estate planning documents to bring with you on your summer vacation.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.

When Is The Best Time to Complete Your Florida Estate Plan?

Do you have a Florida estate plan? Are you aware that it is a critical tool that all adults living in Florida should have? With a Florida estate plan you can think about what you want for yourself, your loved ones, your business, and your legacy. It is also about more than what happens at the end of your life, although that is an important part of the process. In addition, estate planning also makes you answer the tough questions including, but not limited to, what should happen if you no longer have the capacity you need to make your own decisions.

Now that you understand you need a Florida estate plan to plan for your future, what is next? It may be to answer the question:  When is the best time to complete your Florida estate plan? As Florida estate planning attorneys, we are frequently asked this question. Below we have five very different instances to answer the question about when to create your Florida estate plan.

  1. As soon as you turn 18. Your 18th birthday is definitely not too young to create your Florida estate plan. Without an estate plan in place, there is no one who has legal authority to make decisions for you in the event you are in a car accident or other crisis. That means, no one will be able to pay your bills, access your bank accounts, or talk to your doctors. Your Florida estate planning attorney can work with you to make an estate plan that will protect you and put the people who you want to be in charge of you in place in a crisis. Your Florida estate planning attorney will also talk to you about how to create a legacy and plan for a time when you are no longer here.
  1. As soon as you get married. It is exciting to begin planning for a time when you will share your life with another person. You also want to think about how you will protect and provide for each other. The best way to do that is to work with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney and have a Florida estate plan created.  
  1. As soon as you have a child.  Planning becomes even more critical when you have children, especially minor children. Who will take care of them if something happens to you? When should they inherit? How will you provide for their future if you are no longer here? These are the questions your excellent and comprehensive Florida estate plan can answer when you work with a qualified Florida estate planning attorney. 
  1. No matter the amount, as soon as you inherit. Whether your inheritance is small or large, it is important to protect it. The person who left you this inheritance may have had clear instructions for you that you want to copy in your own estate plan or you may have inherited through a messy process that you do not want others to go through. No matter your reason, this is an important time to meet with your Florida estate planning attorney and plan ahead. 
  1. As soon as you start a business. As you begin the start up process you need to consider all the ways you should protect yourself, your family, and your business from what comes next.  In fact, your Florida estate planning attorney can help you not only design your Florida estate plan but be able to advise you on your business planning as well.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Elder and Estate Planning Attorneys, PA, is a law office small enough to provide personal service but large enough to provide service in Jupiter, as well as Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Indian River Counties in Florida. Our law firm will guide you through legal challenges involving elder law, estate planning, trusts, veterans benefits, real estate, and more. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with our attorneys.