Many people erroneously believe that a will is the only necessary document for estate planning. This is not so if you want a rock-solid estate plan designed to reduce estate taxes, avoid probate, and protect your assets in the event you become mentally or physically incapacitated.
According to an article at ElderLawAnswers.com, a good estate plan should include at least a will and a durable power of attorney. Other useful instruments include a trust, directives and the designation of beneficiaries, as described below:
- Will - If you lack a legally-binding will, the state of Florida will determine how your property will be distributed.
- Trust - In some circumstances, a trust, which is a private document, can help you to avoid probate and save time and money for your beneficiaries.
- Power of attorney - This allows you to appoint someone to handle your finances if you become mentally or physically incapacitated.
- Medical directive - This allows you to make your medical wishes known while you're healthy and sound.
- Beneficiary designations - When you create your estate plan, it would be a good idea to also make sure your beneficiary designations for your retirement plan are updated. To control where your money will go, you need to name beneficiaries.
To give your estate plan a check-up, you should speak to an estate planning attorney in Fort Myers, Florida.
Help from an Estate Planning Attorney in Fort Myers is a Phone Call Away
Fort Myers estate planning attorney Matthew A. Linde understands firsthand the importance of careful estate planning and the complexities of financial legal matters, such as probate, tax litigation and guardianship. For help with estate planning concerns, contact our Fort Myers office to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a professional who can answer your questions - 239-939-7100 or 844-764-5492.