Tampa Estate Planning Attorney
Estate planning deals with the management of one’s assets in the event of death or incapacity. These decisions will be made with or without your help. Without a will or trust in place, the state of Florida will divide up your estate among your relatives according to law, without regard to how you might have wanted it done. Without a power of attorney, health care directive or living will, decisions regarding your health care, medical procedures and end-of-life care will be made by doctors who don’t know you or family members who might disagree and fight or agonize over whether they are making the right decision. The courts might also get involved and impose a guardianship over your medical care as well as your finances and legal affairs.
By planning your estate, you direct the distribution of your property where you want it to go, to whom, how much and when. You can also make it clear what kind of medical treatment you do or don’t want, and appoint people you know and trust to look over your person and property during a period of incapacity when you can’t do it yourself. Estate planning is essential to knowing you and your loved ones will be protected and cared for no matter what life brings or when.
- Blended Estate Planning
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
- Living Wills
- Special Needs Trust
At Strategic Counsel Law Group, our Tampa estate planning attorneys are here to help you and guide you through the estate planning process, listening to your concerns, counseling you on your options, and providing a complete estate plan that addresses all of your needs. See below for a description of some of the key foundational documents every estate plan should have, and contact Strategic Counsel Law Group for a consultation regarding your family’s unique needs.
Use a will to name the executor of your estate, nominate a guardian for your minor children, and distribute the assets of your estate to family members, friends, caregivers, and charities of your choosing. Wills must be drafted and executed according to specific rules in order to be valid and enforceable in a Florida probate court. Our experienced team will take the time to understand your desires and draft a legally valid will that expresses your intentions, so you can rest easy with the peace of mind that your desires will be carried out accordingly.
Revocable Living Trust
A revocable living trust can be used to transfer many assets out of your estate during your lifetime. Just like the heirs to a will, the beneficiaries of a trust can be family, friends, charities, or organizations such as universities, churches, or public spaces. By using a trust, you avoid the time and expense of probate. You can also retain control of the assets and benefit from them during your lifetime, as well as dictate the terms under which the beneficiaries will take control of the trust assets. Importantly, trusts are private documents that help keep the contents and disposition of your estate away from prying eyes or the media.
Durable Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is a legal document by which you appoint an agent to act on your behalf and make binding decisions regarding your finances or legal affairs. A durable power of attorney is one that lasts even if you become incapacitated. By vesting power of attorney in someone you trust, you can rest assured your affairs will be handled by a competent person in the way you would want them handled. A power of attorney can be written to only spring into effect in case you become incapacitated and to revert control back to you when you recover.
Health Care Power of Attorney
Florida law provides for a specific type of power of attorney that deals specifically with health care issues. This power of attorney is known in Florida as a Designation of Health Care Surrogate. If you become incapacitated and can’t make medical decisions, the advance directive you created gives a person you know and trust the ability to make decisions on your behalf. Don’t leave your loved ones to anguish over what you would want. Designate someone in advance and talk to them about your wishes.
Put your thoughts in writing regarding your intention to have or not have life-prolonging medical treatment in the event you have a terminal condition, an end-stage condition, or are in a coma. With a living will, you can ensure that you will be made comfortable and allowed to die naturally when the end comes. If you prefer heroic measures be performed to prolong your life, you can express this desire as well. The living will lets family members and physicians know how you feel about this sensitive yet important issue.
Compassionate and Comprehensive Estate Planning in Tampa
We never know what changes life will bring or when they will come. Estate planning is an essential task for people of any age and any means. Take the time to create, update or revise your estate plan now by calling Strategic Counsel Law Group at 813-286-1700. Our Tampa estate planning attorneys will help you plan for the future so you can enjoy the present with security and peace of mind.