Peace Of Mind Through Purposeful Planning
Many of us feel that we have time for estate planning and that there’s no rush to complete legal documents. However, none of us are in control of when those estate plans will be needed. Making an estate plan can take less time than you think with an experienced estate planning attorney at the helm.
As an estate planning attorney for 30 years, I’ve seen what happens when people die with an outdated will or no estate plan at all. Let’s work together to get your affairs in order. Peace of mind that your loved ones will be provided for — and that they will know and honor your wishes — is priceless.
My law practice, JoAnne Larson Daudt, P.A., is located in Fort Lauderdale, but I help people throughout Florida. For your convenience and safety, I also offer virtual estate planning services that cover all the bases without you traveling to my office.
The Estate Planning Basics Everyone Should Have
I am a believer that everyone – regardless of age or assets – should have certain documents in place. I will walk you through all the pertinent questions to create an estate plan that is customized to your goals and compliant with Florida law.
Wills – A will is a legally binding declaration that directs the disposition of your property at death. Without a will, the state of Florida would dictate inheritance, perhaps in ways you never intended. In a properly drafted will, you spell out who inherits what property. You can also provide guidance for funeral arrangements, nominate guardians of minor children and name a personal representative (“executor”).
I can also update an existing will and beneficiary designations to reflect big life changes such as divorce/remarriage, an addition to the family, or the death of one of your named heirs.
Powers of attorney – If you become incapacitated through injury, illness or mental decline, a durable power of attorney delegates certain duties and decision-making to a trusted person. That person would have authority over your financial and legal affairs, from paying bills and managing investments to selling property and signing contracts. I can help you decide what specific powers are granted and under what circumstances.
Health care surrogate – Similar to a power of attorney, this authorizes an individual to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to communicate for yourself. For example, the surrogate could give consent to surgery or another course of treatment.
Living will – Also known as a health care directive, a living will specifies your wishes regarding medical intervention in the event of a terminal illness, vegetative state or end-of-life scenario. For instance, would you want to be resuscitated if your heart stops? It is a binding directive to physicians and spares your loved ones from heart-wrenching decisions.
Trusts And Advanced Estate Planning Strategies
I am well-versed in the use of trusts to accomplish specific goals. A trust sets aside assets from your estate for various purposes, including:
- Protecting family wealth from creditors and lawsuits
- Preserving eligibility for Medicaid assistance with nursing home care
- Providing for a family member with special needs
- Putting stipulations on inheritance
- Avoiding the probate process
- Leaving money for charitable causes
This includes testamentary trusts that are created upon death and “living trusts” that can be managed and amended during your lifetime.
Simple, Affordable And Reliable Estate Planning
Drafting a will or powers of attorney may seem daunting, but I strive to make the process as easy as possible. I invite you to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your estate planning needs. Call me at 954-546-7861 or contact me by email to get started on the path to peace of mind.