Steps Seniors Need to Take for Their Estate Plan and Their Loved Ones
The word “estate” may bring to mind a large home on a sweeping piece of property, but it also refers to any person’s possessions—including regular homes, automobiles, investment accounts, jewelry, retirement accounts and any personal possessions. If you own anything, you have an estate and if you have an estate, you should have an estate plan or at least know what the laws of intestacy are in your state.
Newsmax’s recent article, “7 Tips for Seniors to Get Their Estate Plans in Order,” says that without proper estate planning, all of the decisions and arrangements for your property distributions after death will be made by a probate judge pursuant to state law—not according to your own wishes. This often results in stress and conflict among family members. The article shares some specific tips for seniors to get their estate plans in order:
- Store personal and financial records in a safe place. Personal records are things like your name, date of birth, and Social Security number and employment records, as well as contact information for relatives and close friends,. Financial records include banking and insurance information, liabilities, mortgages, deeds and estate planning documents.
- Tell family or trusted friends that you have records. In an emergency or death, people must know the location of this information. Just give them the location, not all the details of the records. An estate planning lawyer can help.
- Have a will drafted. This makes it much simpler to distribute the property in the estate and can reduce oversight by the probate court. Detail how you want your assets distributed to family members, friends, or charities.
- Talk to your attorney about a living trust. Trust property goes directly to the heirs after death and avoids probate. A trust can be more difficult to challenge in court than a will. It should be created by an experienced and knowledgeable trust and estate lawyer like DANIEL T. FLEISCHER, Esq.. www.411Probate.com
- Designate a power of attorney. You may become incapacitated and unable to make financial decisions on your own. A power-of-attorney authorizes a trusted person to oversee these affairs, which avoids having a court-appointed person managing your financial affairs.
- Decisions and arrangements for incapacity and end-of-life care. An estate plan includes a healthcare directive, which details what kind of medical care and treatment you want if you are incapacitated. It also includes directions for your burial, if you wish to donate your body or organs and who you want to be in charge of these arrangements.
Do you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach counties in Florida? Laws are constantly changing-- has your estate plan been reviewed in the last 2-3 years? Call me (954-888-1747) right away for peace of mind. I can help!
- My practice is exclusively estate planning and probate,
- I have prepared numerous estate plans in 16 years of practice,
- I have administered estates and trusts through Probate all over Florida,
- I am a Certified Financial Planner Professional™, and
- I am here for YOU today and there for your FAMILY tomorrow.
Reference: Newsmax (May 2, 2017) “7 Tips for Seniors to Get Their Estate Plans in Order”