proper estate planning will protect your family
Estate planning in Florida can help you to protect your family’s emotional and financial future when you are no longer here to provide that protection. An estate plan will make your wishes known to your family and will avoid the hurtful bickering and infighting that too often occurs when a loved one suffers an untimely death. The attorneys at Filler & Hedum Law in Longwood, Seminole County, have expertise in estate planning.
Questions about care and custody of children, disposition of personal and real property, and financial accounts are too often left unanswered and become areas of real contention. An estate plan becomes even more important when there are ex-spouses and children from previous marriages or blended families, and can be helpful to effectively eliminate long, drawn-out and costly probate litigation.
Creating a Florida Last Will & Testament
A Last Will & Testament allows you to communicate your wishes and make things easier for the people you care about in your life. Writing your will does not have to be difficult or complicated. At the Filler & Hedum Law Firm, we will walk you through the process of creating a written document that allows you to state your wishes for what happens to your children and property after your death.
Keep these 4 things in mind when you write your will:
Creating a Power of Attorney in Florida
What is the difference between a Power of Attorney and Durable Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is an important element of your estate plan. A Power of Attorney is a legal document appointing a person to manage your financial and legal affairs while you are alive.
When you create a Durable Power of Attorney, you select a person to make decisions for you in the event you become incapacitated or otherwise incapable of making financial or health-care decisions. Durable simply means that your Power of Attorney will be valid even in the event you become incapacitated or mentally incompetent.
Creating a Living Will in Florida
A Living Will is a health care document that identifies the types of medical treatment you would or would not like to receive in certain situations. This is one type of advanced health-care directive you should have in your estate planning documents. If you become unable to direct your own medical care because of an accident, severe illness or advanced age, this document will provide information to your health-care providers to let them know what your wishes are for your continued care. Without a Living Will, decisions are often made by family members or doctors, who while well meaning, may not really know how you feel about these important issues.
Designating a Health Care Surrogate and/or Pre-Need Guardian in Florida
A Health Care Surrogate is a person who you designate to make health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so. Most people choose their spouse, partner, or a close trusted friend as their surrogate. It is important to choose someone who is trustworthy and dependable. Your surrogate should be your advocate and oftentimes must stand up to others who may have a different opinion on how your medical care should proceed.
You may also designate a Pre-Need Guardian. This person would serve as your guardian if at some later date you became incapacitated. This is another type of advanced directive that allows you to choose for yourself who will manage your affairs.
If you don’t have an advanced plan for who should do this, the courts could step in and decide who has this authority. By designating a Pre-Need Guardian in writing you are telling the court, in advance, if anyone goes to court to try and seek guardianship over your person or property, that this is the person I want designated.
Creating a Living Trust in Florida
A living trust or an “inter vivos” trust is simply a trust you create while you are alive. You can be the trustee of your own living trust, keeping control over all property held in the trust.
There are different types of trusts that can help you avoid having your estate go through probate, reduce estate taxes, or set up long-term management of your property. Probate is the court-supervised process of paying your debts and distributing your property to your beneficiaries.
Not everyone has the need to create a trust. Our experienced attorneys will ask you questions to determine if your situation is one where a trust makes sense for you.
Florida Guardianship & Guardian Advocacy
Guardianship & Guardian Advocacy are legal relationships between guardians and wards, the subject of the guardianship. These relationships are created by an order of the court. In Florida, the Probate Court has exclusive jurisdiction over the appointment of guardians for minors, incapacitated adults and developmentally disabled adults. A guardianship can be created for the person or property of the ward or both.
According to the Florida Rules of Probate, to obtain guardianship of a minor or adult suffering from the infirmities of aging. you must hire an attorney. Guardian advocacy pertaining to the developmentally disabled is the exception to this rule.
Establishing a guardianship can be a stressful time for a family. If your loved one has experienced a sudden catastrophic illness such as a heart attack or stroke and does not have advanced directives in place, you may suddenly find yourself in a position where establishing a guardianship relationship is the only way to take control of the situation and make the necessary arrangements for rehabilitation and continued medical care. Looming financials decisions may be overwhelming, and they could have long-term effects on available medical care facilities and insurance qualifications.
Let the experienced attorneys at the Filler & Hedum Law Firm in Longwood, Seminole County, guide you through the guardianship process so you can remain focused on what matters most, your loved one and their recovery.
free consultation and estate planning case review
To learn more about estate planning in Florida, call Filler & Hedum Law today for a free consultation and estate planning case review. Samuel Filler or Kelly Hedum will meet with you personally to discuss your case, answer your questions and offer valuable insight into your case at no cost to you. We’ve helped clients in Sanford, Longwood, Casselberry, Altamonte Springs, Oveido, Orlando, Winter Springs, DeLand and other Central Florida towns protect and secure their financial needs and future.
Choices matter. Choose Wisely. Choose Filler & Hedum Law – 407-772-0700.