More and more Florida residents are realizing the importance of protecting their assets and leaving written instructions for their loved ones and others to take effect when they die or if they become incapacitated. It used to be that many people, especially those of younger ages, mistakenly believed that asset protection or signing a last will and testament were only important for older, wealthy estate owners. Nowadays, however, many people in their 20s or 30s know that the estate planning process is not limited by age or even by the value of a person’s estate.
Most people are familiar with a last will and testament, which is probably the most used document in an estate plan. Beyond that, however, there are numerous other legal documents that can help an individual create a solid plan. One of the greatest benefits of estate planning is that the process is customizable, meaning an estate owner can pick and choose which documents to include and which ones to omit.
Additional estate planning documents are useful in certain circumstances
The following list includes several types of estate planning documents besides a last will and testament that can be useful in various situations:
- Advance health directive
- Power of attorney
- Revocable trust
- Irrevocable trust
- Business succession plan
A parent with minor children, for instance, may want to include a document that assigns legal guardianship in case the parent dies or becomes incapacitated.
Estate planning documents can fulfill a variety of needs
Guardianship may also be relevant for someone with an adult child who has special needs. Someone wishing to set funds aside for a particular person or specified use would benefit from creating a revocable or irrevocable trust. Business owners, of course, may want to consider a succession plan as part of their estate planning process. The power of attorney can grant someone authority to act as a personal representative, making decisions regarding health, finances and more. An experienced attorney can recommend which documents would best fit a particular client’s needs.