Estate planning sounds like something for the wealthy. The truth, adults of all income levels need an estate plan. An estate plan enables your wishes to be carried out on issues such health care, transfer of assets, and care for dependents. A clear plan will help prevent conflicts and is best made before crisis strikes and emotions run high.
View Hillsborough County Extension videos of local residents sharing estate planning advice https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOHNu9vGpEFCvffWe2P_5wJCOBIydID0k
The level of estate planning will depend on your situation. Common components and reasons for an estate plan are listed below.
Health Care Planning: Health care advance directives provide family and caregivers instructions for situations when you are incapacitated. You can also designate a health care surrogate to make decisions on your behalf.
You can find advance directive downloadable forms at the bottom of this web page https://www.floridahealthfinder.gov/reports-guides/advance-directives.aspx
Transferring Assets: The first step is to make a list of all assets. Some assets, such as bank and retirement accounts, can be transferred by naming an account beneficiary. Gifting before death, wills, and trusts are also methods to determine who receives your assets.
The Florida Bar online “Consumer Pamphlet: Do You Have a Will” is available at https://www.floridabar.org/public/consumer/pamphlet011/
Designating a representative: A durable power of attorney is someone given the authority to handle financial transactions on your behalf in the event you are not available or incapacitated. This person, is known as your agent and can only handle matters while you are alive. An executor is the person you authorize to handles your affairs after death.
The Florida Bar online “Consumer Pamphlet: Power of Attorney” is available at https://www.floridabar.org/public/consumer/pamphlet13/
Guardian for Children: A guardian for children can be named in your will. Planning in advance will enable you as opposed to the legal system to choose the guardian.
Life Insurance: Term life insurance can be a cost-effective option to provide for dependents when coverage is needed for a fixed number of years. If you need a life insurance policy that will last beyond a fixed number of years, you may want to consider permanent life insurance.
Consider your goals and take one step at a time. Laws can be complex and vary from state- to-state. A consultation with an attorney may offer peace of mind and ensure documents are prepared correctly.
Join us on June 22 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. for a free webinar about estate planning. Information and registration is at https://ufl.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJYod-yoqTgsE9B1eHRFPWw1X-x3sDsFDFvi