Wills and trusts take care of your family, and powers of attorney take care of you. Powers of attorney allow someone to make decisions on your behalf if you end up incapacitated due to an injury or illness. Your "agent" or "attorney-in-fact" should be someone you trust. This person also needs to understand your wishes when it comes to your health and your finances.
Proper estate planning should be discussed with an estate planning attorney and with a tax specialist to develop a strategy that deals with your specific needs. For most individuals, probate is the appropriate method for administering their assets after they pass away. However, there are a number of ways to avoid probate depending on your net worth.
When many people in Fort Myers approach the idea of estate planning, they often think about what will happen to their assets after their death. What they don't always consider, however, is how their assets might be sapped before their death if they don't entrust the right people to handle their affairs.
There's an interesting legal dispute over a will far up the Atlantic coast from Lee County.
OK, so "National Estate Planning Week" doesn't exactly roll off of the tongue. Despite the clunky-sounding name, the organizers have the best of intentions: reminding people that estate planning is the creation of a strategy to protect yourself and your family.
Some people assume that a thorough estate plan is just for the ultra-wealthy. Let's face it, when we hear politicians talk about the expiration of the current low estate and gift tax rates we turn down the volume. Many of us in Florida don't have a multi-million dollar estate to dole out, so why bother with an estate plan at all?