Experienced Attorneys Helping Florida Couples Develop an Estate Plan
Creating an estate plan is a great first step toward protecting your loved ones. However, if you are married, your estate plan should be designed around you and your spouse – including all marital assets that may be subject to distribution. While Florida typically recognizes the spouse as a main beneficiary, there may be specific items that you wish to gift to another family member, charity, or even a friend.
When you are drafting an estate plan, it is important for you and your spouse to sit down and have an in-depth conversation. You both should be on the same page about your last will, trust, and healthcare directives.
First: Discuss Healthcare Directives
One of the most important documents that you will create within an estate plan is your healthcare directive. This tells healthcare providers which treatments you want and which treatments you want withheld. For example, you may not want to use feeding tubes or be left on a ventilator.
Sit down with your spouse and make sure that you both are on the same page about the care you want – especially in terms of heroic or life-saving treatments. If you will be naming one another as the agent for your healthcare directive, you must make sure that you both are accepting of each other’s decisions in terms of end-of-life care.
Second: Agree On Guardians
If you have minor children, you will need to name a guardian, as well as a backup guardian, for your children.
This is a difficult decision for couples, but must be done. You will want to pick someone whom you both agree will raise your kids with similar values to your own, but also someone responsible enough to handle raising children.
Once you have decided on your list of guardians, you will want to discuss the selection with the guardians themselves and make sure that they are ready for the task (if it ever happens).
Third: Decide How Large Monetary Assets Will Be Distributed to Children
If you have more than one child, you will need to discuss which assets will be distributed and how it will be done.
Some parents go for an equal split among all of their children, while others want certain family heirlooms to go to certain children, while monetary assets go to another. You will both need to agree as to how those assets will be distributed, as well as which spouse will receive which assets if only one of you were to pass away.
Fourth: Address Any Family Businesses
If a family business is involved, you must address how you want that business handled upon one of your deaths. In some cases, couples may bring in another partner or sell the business to children so that one spouse is not left running the company alone.
Explore Your Options for a Joint Estate Plan Today
If you and your spouse are ready to tackle the task of creating an estate plan, contact the attorneys at Beller & Bustamante, P.L. Meet with us for a consultation now by calling 904-288-4414 or request your consultation online.