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Tips for creating your estate plan

There is more to estate planning in Florida than simply creating a will, although that is one important element. In addition to stating what you want to happen to your assets, you can also use a will to name guardians for your minor children.

Trusts

Those guardians may not necessarily be the same people who are managing money for your minor children, so for this, you may want a trust. There are other reasons you may want a trust to be your main estate planning document instead of a will as well. A trust can give you more control over how your assets are distributed and can also protect them from various threats, such as creditors or taxes.

Incapacity and long-term care

You also need documents that will allow others to step in if you become incapacitated. Powers of attorney for financial issues and health care can appoint individuals who are authorized to make these decisions on your behalf. You may also want to create a living will, which specifies the kind of medical care you want. In addition, you should consider whether you want to make provisions for long-term care.

Other considerations

Beneficiary designations take precedence over your instructions in a will or a trust, so you should make sure that they are up to date and consistent. You need to review your entire estate plan regularly in case you need to make changes. You may also want to discuss the plan with beneficiaries and others who have roles in it.

An attorney may be able to help you with creating or updating a plan. Working with professionals can be better than trying to create a plan on your own. A lawyer may be able to suggest useful strategies and help prepare documents so that they are correct and unambiguous.