Proper estate planning is essential for people of all ages. Here are some tips from a Dunedin estate planning attorney to help you get the most out of your estate plan.
- Will and/or Trust
- Health Care Directive
- Power of Attorney
A will is a testamentary document which nominates an executor to administer, and names beneficiaries to inherit, your estate. You can also make provisions for minor children, including naming a guardian for them.
Consult with your Dunedin estate planning attorney to determine whether a trust is advisable for you. The advantages of a trust include the ability to avoid probate (a court process administering your estate after your death), potential tax advantages, and privacy. Unlike a will, which becomes a public record, your trust generally will avoid probate and allow your estate plan not to become publicly known.
Your advance directive for health care allows you to direct your end-of-life care as well as nominates agents who can make health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to do so.
Your Dunedin estate planning lawyer can draft a power of attorney on your behalf which names your agents who will act on your behalf in the event of your incapacity. You need not empower your agents now, but planning in advance can allow your named agent to swiftly manage your estate if you are incapacitated and ensure that your obligations are being met and your family is protected.
Once in place, you should regularly review your estate plan with your attorney to ensure that your needs are continuing to be met. Most changes to estate plans result from the following:
- Change in tax laws
- Change in family circumstances such as births, deaths, marriages, divorces
- Change in net worth
- Change in assets owned
- Moving your residence
- Purchase or sale of a business
- Minor children reaching adulthood
- Change in the choice of named executors, successor trustees, and agents.
It is very important to discuss each of these changes with your attorney as they happen. For example, a change in tax laws could mean that you are not getting the most from your estate plan as written. Similarly, consultation with your lawyer could alert you as to issues regarding your investment portfolio.
Contact a Dunedin Estate Planning Attorney
Contact Mr. Coleman at the Coleman Law Firm at 727.461.7474 or toll free at 866.461.7474 to prepare or review your estate plan.