What are the Key Strategies for Estate Planning?
Everyone should plan for the future to protect their loved ones, their property, and themselves. At Kruse Law, Denyse Kruse helps identify unique solutions for each client’s individual situation and tailor estate plans to your objectives and concerns.
What is an Estate Plan?
Estate planning entails preparing for what will happen to your property after you pass away, planning for your own care, preserving assets, identifying the persons that will be able to make decisions if you become incapacitated or die, and much more. Having an attorney involved in this process can help avoid unnecessary costs, stress, and lawsuits by creating a well-designed estate plan. Here are commonly found items in an estate plan:
- Health Care Surrogate Designation
- Living Will Declaration
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Beneficiary Designations
- Your wishes for your minor children
- Revocable Trust
Because there are so many components to an estate plan, a key strategy is to proceed document by document and ensure you are prepared to create each one. This means considering your circumstances and goals in turn.
- Personal Representative – One important step in the estate planning process is identifying the individual who will act on behalf of your estate during the probate process. After you pass, this individual will be responsible for identifying and safeguarding estate assets, notifying creditors, satisfying valid debts that are brought forth timely by the creditor, locating and contacting interested parties, distributing the assets of the estate, preparing and filing any necessary tax returns, and ultimately closing out the estate. This person is typically somebody who you know well and trust to handle your estate after you pass. If you do not nominate a personal representative in your Will, the court will appoint the Personal Representative based on the priority of such persons to serve, as specified in Florida law.
- Health Care Surrogate - This individual would make medical decisions for you if you were to become incapacitated. This person is also given the authority to speak with medical professionals on your behalf. They must make these healthcare decisions in accordance with your instructions or known wishes. Thus, it is best to first identify an individual you trust to make these decisions. Second, it is crucial to make your medical wishes known so that the health care surrogate follows your guidance.
- Power of Attorney - The power of attorney has the authority to act on your behalf in legal or business matters. This document goes into effect immediately upon signing. The goal of the document is to have the person in place before you become incapacitated. That way, if you do become incapacitated, that person may begin to manage your affairs right away. This is a very powerful document. This Agent listed in this document should be chosen with great care. Denyse Kruse can discuss the duties and responsibilities of the Agent and help guide you to selecting the best person to serve.
Overall, your priorities in estate planning should be identifying people in your life that you trust to make important decisions for you and those to whom you wish your belongings to be passed. The other priority should be identifying your goals - whether that is what your wishes are in a healthcare situation or your wishes for your assets after you have passed. Denyse Kruse can help you navigate these complicated decisions to get the best estate plan for you.
Kruse Law Can Help
Kruse Law gives you the confidence you need when life gets complicated. You never know when something might happen, and it is never too early to begin planning. Attorney Denyse Kruse is ready to provide you with personalized attention to achieve the result you want. Call 727-256-4860 today to get started.