Preparing For Your Future
Do your loved ones know your wishes should you be in a vegetative state or unable to express your wishes yourself? Have you arranged for who will care for your children if something happens to you? Do you have a written plan for the disposition of your property at your passing? Below are the most common estate planning and probate services provided by the Law Offices of Holly A. Aliprandi, P.A.:
Living Will & Health Care Surrogate: A written document about how you want medical decisions to be made should you not be able to make them yourself. The living will instructs health care professionals about the kind of medical care you want or do not want should you have a terminal condition, an end-stage condition, and/or are in a vegetative state. The health care surrogate names another person as your representative to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them.
Preneed Guardian: For yourself and/or your children. A preneed guardian is a written declaration naming who shall serve as guardian for yourself in the event you become incapacitated and who shall serve as guardian for your children in the event the last remaining parent becomes incapacitated or dies.
Power of Attorney: A legal document wherein you delegate authority from yourself to your named agent to be exercised while you are still alive and competent. Power of Attorney is typically drafted as a Durable Power of Attorney, which allows your agent to continue exercising the powers given even after you become incapacitated. Examples of uses of power of attorney are to allow agent to access your bank accounts; to sign a contract; to handle financial transactions; or to sell a car or other property.
Revocable Living Trust: A written document created during your lifetime to manage your assets and distribute remaining assets upon your death in accordance with your explicit instructions.
Last Will & Testament: A written document controlling the disposition of your property at death. If you die intestate (without a will), your property will be distributed to your heirs in accordance with State law, or if you have no heirs at law, to the State of Florida. A will advises every one of your final wishes as to who gets what property upon your death.
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust: An irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) is a trust created to control the disposition of your life insurance proceeds upon death. The ILIT typically cannot be changed. It removes the value of your life insurance policies from your estate. With an ILIT, you cannot retain incidents of ownership over your life insurance policy, and as such cannot be the trustee or beneficiary.
Probate: Probate is the court supervised process of identifying and gathering a decedent’s assets, paying the debts of the decedent and distributing the decedent’s assets to beneficiaries. Assets are first used to pay the cost of probate, then to pay any outstanding debts of the decedent, and then the remainder is distributed to the beneficiaries in accordance with the decedent’s will, or in the case of no will, pursuant to Florida law.
Guardianship: Guardianship is a legal proceeding appointing a guardian to exercise the legal rights of a person that has been adjudicated to be incapacitated. Guardianship is also initiated for minor children who have lost both parents to death or incapacity or who have inherited or received proceeds of a lawsuit or insurance policy over $15,000.