Estate Planning Documents

estate planning documents
ELDER NEEDS LAW ATTORNEY


As we grow older, estate planning becomes more and more important each year. Failure to properly organize your personal and financial affairs has the potential to leave your heirs in a messy situation. By taking the time to plan your estate properly, you will leave your family in a better position to get through the probate process more efficiently and properly distribute your assets without complication - or to avoid probate altogether! Read on to learn more about the estate planning process and the essential documents you will need to gather.

What Are Estate Planning Documents? 

To properly plan your estate, you need to understand more about the estate planning process and the essential estate planning documents. Essentially, estate planning documents are the foundation for creating a systematic approach for organizing your personal and financial affairs. There are a variety of estate planning documents that you will need to acquire throughout your overall estate planning process. 

Along with knowing about estate planning documents, it is essential to understand the different types of estate planning there are to choose from. The two main types of estate planning are will-based estate plans and trust-based estate plans. The two types of plans are detailed below. 

  • Will-Based Estate Planning 

A will-based estate plan is the most basic type of estate plan. The basic legal documents included in a will-based estate plan are a last will and testament, an advance medical directive, a living will, and a financial power of attorney. 

  • Trust-Based Estate Planning 

A trust-based estate plan is a more detailed type of estate plan. Along with an advance medical directive, a living will, and a financial power of attorney, this type of estate plan also includes a pour-over will and a revocable living trust. Essentially, a revocable living trust provides detailed sets of instructions for three important periods of your life. The three detailed periods are what happens while you are alive and well, what happens if you become mentally incapacitated, and what happens after your death. 

What Are the Most Important Estate Planning Documents? 

There are a variety of documents that can be included in your estate plan. Which documents you choose will primarily be based on your individual situation and the law firm you work with. However, there are certain documents that will be found in almost every type of estate plan. The following are the six most important estate planning documents to include in your estate plan. 

Book 1
https://www.elderneedslaw.com/estate-planning-for-young-families

Book 2
https://www.elderneedslaw.com/basic-florida-estate-planning

1. Will or Trust 

In this document, you will provide a detailed list of instructions on how your property and or assets will be distributed after your death. In your living will, you will also detail a written set of instructions on if you want to receive life-sustaining procedures should you ever be diagnosed with a terminal condition or are in a long-term vegetative state  

2. Durable Power of Attorney 

This document allows you to designate an individual to make financial and legal decisions as if they were you, should you ever be in the position to not be able to make these decisions for yourself.  

3. Beneficiary Designations 

In this document, you can detail how your assets will be divided up among your beneficiaries and who will receive what. 

4. Letter of Intent 

A letter of intent is simply a document that provides further details or instructions to your executor or beneficiaries. Some letters of intent are simply funeral details or requests. 

5. Healthcare Power of Attorney 

This legal document is also known as an advance medical directive. In this document, you can designate a specific individual to make medical decisions for you, should you, for any reason, ever be unable to make them for yourself.

6. Guardianship Designations 

If you have minor children, you need to include a guardianship designation in your estate plan. Choosing a guardian for your children should not be overlooked. In extreme situations, your children could become wards of the state after your passing. Failure to designate a guardian could also leave your children in the care of a family member that you would not have personally selected. 

When Should I Start Compiling Estate Planning Documents?

You know estate planning is important, but when should you actually start? Well, the best time to start estate planning was yesterday, and the second-best time is today. You never know when an accident may strike that will leave you needing a trusted individual to make crucial decisions regarding your medical state, finances, or assets. It's always best to start estate planning as soon as possible. Estate planning is even more important if you have minor children or a substantial amount of assets. It is in everyone's best interest to have your estate squared away before your passing to avoid a messy situation for those you leave behind.


Consultant with an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Today 

Estate planning can be a complicated process to navigate alone. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney is a worthwhile decision that will also reduce the chance of error in any of your essential estate planning documents. For further guidance in your estate planning process, consult with an experienced estate planning attorney today.


Schedule A
Consultation Today

We care. We listen. We can help.
No matter what you need assistance with, don’t wait - schedule a consultation today to discuss a plan for your future.
(305) 614-7379
the autHor of the

Florida Medicaid Planning Book

How to Get Medicaid to Pay for Some or All of Your Long-Term Care Expenses:

Without having to wait 5 years | without having to sell your house | without have to go broke first! (a Florida Medicaid Lawyer's Guide For Non-Lawyers)

GET THE BOOK
TESTIMONIALS

What People Say About Us

"Jason and his team are responsive and communicate very well. Jason helped me to get the benefits that I qualified for much faster than expected. I would recommend him highly. My case seemed complicated to me, but Jason explained everything in detail and made everything go quite smoothly. I interviewed several elderlaw attorneys prior to choosing Jason Neufeld."

"Quick turn around time for appointments, great response time, very thorough, never rushed through and soooo easy to do business with over the internet! Read the website info, very very helpful!"

“The attorney Jason and his team are amazing at planning and execution. Me and my family would not trust anyone else with our estate planning needs.”

“I've been very impressed! A friend referred me and I've experienced nothing but perfect service and professionalism. I am extremely grateful!”

“A strong recommendation for Jason Neufeld and his Elder Law firm - very professional, patient, reliable, and experienced. When my father fell terminally ill, I became responsible for his assets and finances overnight, including the daunting task to qualify him for Medicaid. I interviewed several elder law firms but was most impressed by Jason’s client approach and practices. Throughout the process, Jason and his team provided clear guidance and support to successfully complete all the new and complex tasks required as a POA, and more importantly he enabled us to quickly achieve our goals related to Medicaid and estate planning. His fees are more than reasonable for the level of due diligence and support we received.”

Our blog

Recent News & Articles


FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Do my elderly parents need a will?
Just about everyone should have a will. Particularly if you are married, have children, or have significant assets you will want to make sure you have documentation in place so that your wishes are carried out in the event of your death.
What is estate planning?
Estate planning is a broad term that encompases all of the steps someone takes in order to ensure that their estate is handled according to their wishes in the event of their incapacitation or death. This includes creating wills, powers of attorney, trusts, and other crucial estate planning documents.
What is my estate?
Simply, your estate is your net worth at the time of your death. This would include all of your assets (financial accounts, real estate property, valuables and heirlooms, etc) as well as all of your debts (mortgages, credit cards, etc).

Serving Elder Law Clients in the Following Areas

Miami, North Miami Beach, North Miami, Miami Beach, Miami Gardens, Aventura, South Miami, Kendall

Hallandale Beach, Miramar, Hollywood, Dania Beach, Ft. Lauderdale, Plantation, Davie, Pembroke Pines

Tampa, Brandon, Sarasota, Oldsmar, New Port Ritchie, Valrico, Bloomingdale, Temple Terrace
FIND A LAWYER NEAR YOU
Contact Us

Let's Talk

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form