For Florida residents considering estate planning, it is important that they consider it a process. Creating a comprehensive plan that covers important needs and wishes is not something to do in a single day with a single document. In fact, the planning process can begin well before you are ready to create a formal document.
If you feel ready to start planning, you may find it useful to make a list of broad planning ideas that you have. Do you have specific people you want to receive certain items? Do you need life insurance? Do you have a child with special needs to consider? Jotting down your ideas can give you a framework to help you get to the finer points of your plan.
What can you include?
You may already know that you need to create a will, and it is certainly wise to do so. If you have minor children, you can use your will to indicate who you want to act as their guardian in the event that you cannot care for them yourself due to incapacitation or death. However, other documents can play important roles in your plan as well, including the following:
- A living will can provide instructions on how you want your medical care handled in the event that you suffer serious injuries or illness that render you unable to speak for yourself.
- A healthcare power of attorney allows you to name a person to make medical decisions on your behalf and ensure the carrying out of the wishes in your living will.
- A financial power of attorney gives someone the ability to make decisions regarding your financial matters when you cannot do so. Your healthcare agent and financial agent can be the same person or two different people.
- A Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act release form gives permission for medical professionals to disclose your healthcare information to needed individuals.
One good thing about estate planning is that numerous tools exist for individuals to create plans that are unique to their personal situations. You may find uses for the documents listed here as well as various others when creating your plan. Discussing the other options available to you with an experienced estate planning attorney could give you the ability to create a plan with which you feel comfortable.