There are two fundamental, over-arching questions we answer when preparing an estate plan. The first question – what happens to my things when I die? – is the more obvious of the two, the one we typically think about. The second question is more often overlooked – what happens to my things if I’m temporarily or permanently incapacitated? Answering both questions is very important.
What happens to my stuff when I die?
So, what does happen to your things when you die? Well, if you don’t properly plan, the State determines when and to whom your assets are transferred. And typically, assets must be transferred through a court process called probate. Probate is an expensive, drawn-out process involving an attorney, a judge, and numerous procedural hurdles. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid probate.
What happens to me and my stuff if I’m temporarily or permanently incapacitated?
The second question we ask is one that’s often overlooked – what happens to me and my stuff if I’m incapacitated? Well… if you haven’t taken legal steps to name an agent, no one has the legal right to help you with your finances or your medical care. We solve this problem with documents referred to as advanced directives, for example, a power of attorney, living will, or health care surrogate designation. After preparing these documents, someone you trust will be able to handle both financial and health-related decisions for you. You can click here to find out more about advanced directives. If we can help you answer these two very important questions and give you peace of mind about the future of your family, please contact us at (813) 244-7758 or Ross@RossSpanoLaw.com. Cheers, Ross Spano