Some Florida residents might think that they do not need an estate plan because they do not have many assets. However, an estate plan can be an important tool for many adults. Furthermore, it is more than just a way for a person to pass on assets to loved ones. It can also be used to make arrangements for end-of-life care. This may include a document that appoints someone to make health care decisions if a person is incapacitated as well as a power of attorney to take care of a person's finances in the same circumstances.
Long-term health care insurance may important in planning for the last part of a person's life. It could protect a person from losing all their assets after going to a nursing home. Another thing a person may want to consider is creating a trust instead of using a will to pass on assets. Trusts can have a number of uses including paying for a person's health care and donating the rest to charity. A trust also allows a person to avoid the probate process and donate assets directly to loved ones.
One difficult but important decision is choosing who will have power of attorney and other decision-making responsibilities. These responsibilities can be split among family members and even among professionals.
It may be tempting to postpone estate planning because people do not want to think about illness and death, but an estate plan takes a great burden off of loved ones. People might want to consider discussing their ideas about the estate plan with family members to reduce the likelihood that the plan will be challenged. An attorney might be able to guide them toward trusts or other vehicles that they may not realize can be useful in their situation.