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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Florida Estate Planning: The Basics

Estate planning is the process of arranging for the management and disposal of one’s estate during life and after death. Properly drafted estate plans account for both expected and unexpected life events, and they clearly address the way in which assets will be distributed in both life and death. Below is an overview of issues to consider when approaching the estate planning process in Florida.


A trust is a fiduciary arrangement that allows a third party to hold assets on behalf of beneficiaries. Trusts are a common part of the estate planning process, and they are particularly useful for parents who have children, as they can be used to ensure that children are cared for in the event of the death of a parent or parents.


Wills are another common part of the estate planning process in Florida. A will is a legal document that addresses the issue of post-death property distribution. When a will is drafted, beneficiaries and the property to be distributed are identified and included. Wills help to ensure that property is distributed in a manner that is considered satisfactory to the testator.

Power of attorney

Another integral part of the estate planning process in Florida is the drafting of a power of attorney. In fact, those undergoing the process should consider drafting both durable power of attorney and healthcare power of attorney documents, as both documents identify designated individuals with the authority to make financial and health care decisions on behalf of the drafter.


Individuals with children should name a guardian during the estate planning process. A guardian is an individual who assigned to care for minor children in the unfortunate event of a parent’s death. However, if a parent fails to name a guardian during the estate planning process, the decision falls upon the court, making it imperative that this step be taken by parents who wish to avoid court intervention.


Finally, an executor should be named during the estate planning process in Florida. An executor ensures that a testator’s will is executed according to its terms. In addition, it's important to designate both a primary and successor executor in order to ensure sure that one’s will is executed faithfully in the event that the primary executor is unable to perform his or her duties.

Florida Estate Planning Attorneys

A well-drafted estate plan has many important benefits for you and your family. However, estate planning can be extremely complicated, and it’s easy to overlook critical steps when attempting to navigate the process alone. In order to protect your rights and plan for your future, please consider contacting an attorney to discuss your estate planning options. At the Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Herzog, P.A., our experienced Florida estate planning attorneys provide our clients with sophisticated estate planning guidance and assistance, including the preparation of wills, trusts, and other essential services. Please contact us for a consultation.

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