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Estate plan includes personal protections

People who do estate planning may be the kind who place the well-being of their families before their own good. Creating an estate plan means providing security and reducing the burden on loved ones. However, without meaning to, many in Florida overlook some crucial elements without which their families may face heart-wrenching decisions.

Estate planning advisors recommend people include disability documents along with their wills or trusts. In fact, advisors may refer to these as essential elements of a complete estate plan, beginning with an advanced health care directive. Also known as a medical power of attorney, this document names a trusted person to act as the voice of the person granting the power if that individual should be unable to make medical decisions. To aid one's medical power of attorney, a living will can outline one's preferences for medical treatment, including those end-of-life wishes.

Creating a durable power of attorney protects one's finances by designating someone to act on the maker's behalf in the administration of his or her finances. The agent will pay bills, manage bank accounts and handle any financial business of the person granting the power in the event he or she becomes incapacitated, provided such an agent is accepted by one's financial institutions. To oversee one's powers of attorney, a revocable living trust provides an added layer of protection, usually for those whose estates are worth $1 million or more.

Other important considerations are including organ donor authorization and the release of one's medical records to specific people named. There may be additional factors that would benefit someone in Florida when creating a comprehensive estate plan. The advice of an attorney is an excellent place to begin to ensure every aspect of one's estate is provided for.

Source: marketwatch.com, "This is the most important person to remember in your estate plan", Brad Wiewel, Nov. 17, 2017

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