When people in Florida think about making future plans for their estates, they often think about creating wills. However, estate planning involves much more than setting up a will. A few other documents are also important to create with the goal of protecting one's assets and interests long term.
A will is the basic component of any estate plan, as it spells out how exactly a person wishes to divide his or her assets after he or she dies. However, a trust can also be wise to include in an estate plan. Trusts are highly valued due to their ability to limit asset owners' estate taxes.
Letters of intent are also beneficial documents to include in estate plans. These documents explain to beneficiaries or will executors what asset owners' wishes are, including how they would like to distribute their assets and even details about their future funerals. Yet another essential estate planning document is a health care power of attorney, which names a person who can make health care-related decisions for someone who has become incapacitated and thus cannot make these types of decisions on his or her own.
The process of creating an estate plan in Florida can understandably be complex, especially for those who have accumulated a large number of assets over the years. However, failure to engage in estate planning may mean that a person's valuable assets end up in unintended hands when he or she passes away. An attorney can guide asset owners through the estate planning process so that they avoid making critical errors that may adversely impact their estates in the long run.