VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Avoiding abuse by creating a thorough estate plan

According to Wells Fargo, people in Florida and throughout the United States should have a will. They should also have both financial and health care powers of attorney in addition to a health care advance directive. Those who already have those documents in place should review them on a regular basis to be sure that they still meet their needs. While creating or reviewing an estate plan can seem overwhelming, it is possible to do so in small chunks.

For instance, a person could start by naming beneficiaries or titling trusts to meet current and future needs. It is also a good idea for an individual to have a conversation about finances with family members. In the event that a person becomes incapacitated, those family members will know how to manage his or her finances effectively. Failing to have a plan could lead to financial abuse, which happens to 20 percent of Americans aged 65 or older.

In addition to creating and reviewing documents, people should be sure that they are easily accessible. Ideally, they will be kept on a secure server that is handled either by the individual who creates them or that person's financial adviser. Keeping records on a server allows family members and other authorized parties to access them regardless of where they live.

Ideally, a person will create an estate plan or at least write a will as soon as possible. Doing so may make it easier for family members to access digital records or otherwise embark upon settling the deceased person's estate. Those who have questions about creating an estate plan may wish to consult with an attorney.

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