For most people in Florida, the loss of a loved one is a devastating event regardless of whether the death came as a result of a sudden accident or a lingering illness. For many people, such a loss is the start of a period of grieving. During this period, the last thing on their minds is the management of their loved one’s estate. However, death is not only an event for which to plan — in some cases, a person may still be living but unable to make decisions for him or herself.
While most people think of a will and the division of assets when they consider the estate planning process, what creating appropriate documents really does is to protect loved ones following such a loss. By having appropriate documents in place, family members can be protected from the stress of making such decisions without input. Further, without a will or healthcare proxy in place, loved ones may have to go to the court for guidance on asset division or to be allowed to make medical care decisions.
One of the most important things that a person can do to help ease the stress often experienced by loved ones during an illness, injury or death is to have clear directives in place. While the creation of a living will is important, so too is naming someone to serve as a health care and ensuring that all relevant parties have appropriate documents. Additionally, naming someone to serve as power of attorney ensures that financial decisions can be made without asking the court to appoint someone.
By planning in advance, a person in Florida has an opportunity to ensure their wishes are known, including having honest conversations with those tapped to make health care decisions. Some people may feel more confident and less guilt when they make these decisions by knowing that they are following their loved one’s wishes. Because the estate planning process can seem overwhelming, there are experienced professionals who can help.