Estate Planning Essentials: Wills, Trusts, and Preneed Documents in Brandon

Do you think “estate planning” is just for the wealthy? Don’t let that term intimidate you. An estate plan is simply a set of legal documents which spell out your wishes if you were to die or become incapacitated.

Though it may not be pleasant to contemplate your mortality, taking time to assemble your preneed documents—like a will or a durable power of attorney—will give you peace of mind now, and save those you love headaches in the future.

To demystify the process, here is some information about what we feel are the five most important estate planning documents. (Want to talk in person and have all your questions answered? Click here for contact information for estate planning in Brandon, Riverview, Tampa and surrounding communities.)

Five important estate planning documents

  1. Last will and testament—or simply “will.” Your will is the foundation of your estate plan. It spells out your final wishes for your assets after your death and names an executor to oversee your estate plan. It may also designate who you want to take custody of your minor children.
  2. Revocable trust, also known as a “living trust.” A trust is actually more than a document—it’s a legal entity your estate attorney will help you create to hold your assets. A trust may help your heirs avoid the lengthy probate process and may help reduce estate taxes. Not every estate needs a trust, so it’s important to discuss your needs with an experienced estate attorney.
  3. Designation of healthcare surrogate (DOHCS). A healthcare surrogate is someone you choose to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so. The combination of your living will (see below) and your DOHCS is also known as your “advance directives.”
  4. Durable power of attorney. This document allows you to designate a person to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. This person will be able to do things like pay bills, sell real estate, or oversee your investments. This is especially important for single people who don’t have a spouse who can take over these duties.
  5. Living will. Your living will is a legal, written record of your medical treatment preferences if you can’t communicate or make decisions about your health care. It usually includes directions for things such as pain management and end-of-life care.

Why choose an estate planning professional?

Now that you know a little bit about these important preneed documents, it’s time to consider your next steps. To best protect your assets and beneficiaries, choose a law firm like Dowd Law to prepare your estate planning documents. Our estate planning services are surprisingly affordable and will offer you peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of as you wish after you’re gone. Dowd Law is located in Brandon, FL, and serves clients in Brandon, Riverview, Tampa, and surrounding communities. Call us at 813-773-3529 or click here to schedule a consultation