Do you have a will? Have you planned your estate yet? If not, you are putting not only yourself but also your dependents and spouse in a precarious situation should you become incapacitated or die. Too many people pass away without a will or other estate documents in place these days. You need to avoid this issue at all costs by asking the following questions when planning your estate in Florida.
A power of attorney is an important designation that everyone should choose at one point during his or her life. This designation is typically found in a will that is created by an individual or a couple. It can be difficult to pick someone to serve as your power of attorney.
When considering how to protect your estate and establish your end-of-life wishes, it is very likely that you will assign a durable financial power of attorney to a representative. Such an appointment authorizes a person you choose to access your finances and take whatever actions are necessary to achieve your financial goals and keep up with your financial obligations.
When a person passes away and leaves a will as part of his or her estate plan, the will may leave the administrators of the estate plan or executor of the will any number of instructions on how to execute that person's wishes. However, wills are not "magical" documents that allow those who create them to skirt the law. Rather, when a will conflicts with the law, the law takes precedence.
Dealing with the debts of a family member who passes away is often very difficult while also dealing with the grief of the loss itself. It can even add to the fears and uncertainty that regularly surround the passing of a family member. If you are worried that you may have to pay for your deceased relative's debt, there is good news. Generally speaking, personal debt is personal debt, and while some debts may transfer after death, most do not.
Deciding who is best suited to act as the executor of your estate is a big decision, one which neither you nor the person you appoint should take lightly. In many cases, the details of an estate plan are either complicated or may entail a certain degree of conflict, in which case it is usually wise to aid your executor with some proper help.
When crafting your estate plan, there are many decisions that one must make — end of life preferences, how to protect various assets and who should be your beneficiaries, for example. One of the most important decisions you will make when crafting your estate plan is appointing an executor to your estate. This individual can generally be just about anyone (with some exceptions), but they must be prepared to carry out your wishes competently and fairly, and must handle a number of fairly complex legal matters.
After a person passes away, there are many things that must be handled with great care to avoid unnecessary disruption to the lives of those who survive the decedent. Administering an estate can be a complex matter, especially even if the decedent had created an estate plan prior to his or her death. For those affected by the estate settlement, a generous gift can become a burden if the details are not clearly understood as the estate is administered. This can be especially true when it comes to passing on a home with an outstanding mortgage balance.
It is important to your research before enlisting the guidance of an attorney, no matter what area of law you need help in. Recently, a Florida attorney was accused of misusing her influence and access as an attorney, leading to her having her license revoked. There is some reasonable debate as to whether the attorney in question actually violated any legal or ethical boundaries, but the story does illustrate just how important it is to vet an attorney before choosing to employ one's services.
Estate planning is not only about determining the fate of your assets, it also can deal with your end-of-life preferences. One of the crucial components of controlling your end-of-life is appointing a durable power of attorney. Florida, like all other states, maintains its own statutes that govern the assignment and reach of durable power of attorney.