Attorney L. Reed Bloodworth, managing partner of Bloodworth Law with offices in Orlando, Florida, and Winter Haven answers the question: What is estate planning?
What is Estate Planning?
What is estate planning? It is the act of creating legal documents and plans that outline for Florida courts your heirs, exactly what you want to have happen to your children, your assets, and your estate after you die or if you become incapacitated.
Probate is the legal process of proving a will or an estate.
Estate Planning Documents
What are estate planning documents? Estate planning documents include:
- A will
- A durable power of attorney
- A health care power of attorney
- A living will
- A trust
Estate Planning Legal, Health & Financial
Did you know that estate planning also includes making legal plans in case you become unable to handle legal, health, and financial affairs due to medical or mental incapacity?
There are many choices that need to be made in case you become ill or are incapacitated. Hospitals and doctors ask for these documents and they should be prepared in case there’s an emergency.
Estate planning involves making important decisions about your property; people who depend on you for support; possible future physical or mental incapacity; long-term nursing care; health care that you may or may not want, and funeral, cremation, or memorial arrangements.
You’ll choose a personal representative, or executor, who collects and inventories property and distributes it according to your will. This person pays bills, collects debts, distributes things in accordance with a will, and files tax returns on your behalf.
Carry Out Your Wishes
Making sure your wishes are carried out by leaving clear instructions regarding your assets is a primary purpose of estate planning. These instructions can be regarding personal property, real property, titled assets, and digital assets.
If you don’t have an estate plan, you won’t have a say in what happens to you, your children, your assets, or yourself if you become physically incapable, or if you die intestate.
When you’re ready to begin estate planning, talk to Reed about how Bloodworth Law can help you, or your family.