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What documents should I include in my Florida estate plan?

| Sep 30, 2021 | Estate Planning

Florida is one of the most ideal states for people looking to retire and enjoy their sunset years. Besides the warm weather and great beaches, Florida is also one of the most tax-friendly states in the nation. Additionally, the state has multiple legal tools that you can use to protect your property, minimize your taxes and ensure a comfortable future for yourself and your loved ones. 

With a properly created estate plan, you will not have to be burdened by concerns such as what will happen to your property when you pass on or who will make important financial and healthcare decisions when you are incapacitated.

Here are the core documents you need to include in your Florida estate plan

Last will and testament

A well-thought-out will allows you to decide how your assets will be distributed when you pass on. It also ensures that you have a legal guardian in place for your minor children. However, a will only talks about what will happen to your state once you have passed on, not what should happen to you in an event that you are incapacitated. 

A healthcare power of attorney

 In Florida, this is also known as a Designation of Health Care Surrogate. This document indicates the person you want to make decisions on your behalf should you become incapacitated.

A living will

Also referred to as a health care directive, a living will stipulate your medical care wishes should you be unable to make the decision by yourself. It includes instructions on life-saving measures like nutrition, resuscitation and when to terminate life support. Your appointed health care power of attorney should make reference to your living will when making end-of-life care decisions. 

Financial power of attorney

This document names the individual you would want to handle financial matters like accessing your bank accounts, paying bills and even acquiring or selling assets on your behalf. A financial power of attorney becomes effective immediately once it is signed, whether or not the principal becomes incapacitated. 

Creating an estate plan may seem like a daunting task. However, a properly constituted estate plan can help you, and your loved ones stay afloat after your demise and ensure that your legacy is safely passed on to those you leave behind.