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Four Basic Components To Consider In An Estate Plan

Florida estate planning attorney

An estate planning attorney can help secure your legacy.

Life can change quickly, and an unexpected illness or death can leave families in turmoil – both emotionally and financially. That's why it's never too soon to start thinking ahead. Having an estate plan can give you peace of mind knowing that your wealth is protected and your wishes will be fulfilled.

An estate plan can be fairly complex for high-net-worth individuals, but here are four basic components everyone should consider.

Last will and testament

This fundamental component of estate planning ensures that your assets, property, and possessions are distributed according to your wishes after your passing. It can also appoint guardians for minor children, name an executor to carry out the will's instructions, and detail specific wishes, such as funeral arrangements or charitable donations.

A well-drafted will helps avoid potential disputes among heirs and ensures that your estate is distributed according to your desires. It's important to update this document as circumstances change so that it reflects your current wishes and protects your legacy.


These legal arrangements allow you to protect and distribute your assets according to specific wishes. Unlike a last will and testament, trusts often bypass the probate process. This helps ensure privacy and also allows for faster asset distribution.

Revocable living trusts provide flexibility during the grantor's lifetime – you have the flexibility to modify or revoke the trust as your circumstances change. Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed without the consent of the beneficiaries, but they do provide unique benefits. Assets in irrevocable trusts are typically shielded from estate taxes and offer asset protection from creditors and lawsuits.

Trusts can also be used for specific purposes, such as education or charitable donations, and may include provisions for disabled beneficiaries.

A financial power of attorney

This legal document empowers someone, known as the agent or attorney-in-fact, to make financial decisions and manage assets on behalf of the grantor. It often applies in situations where the grantor is incapacitated or unable to handle financial matters themselves.

This power can include managing your bank accounts, investments, real estate, and paying bills. By designating a trusted agent, a Power of Attorney ensures that your financial affairs will be handled even during periods of illness or incapacity. It's an effective way to prevent potential financial complications and safeguard your interests.

A medical power of attorney

This legal document authorizes a chosen agent to make healthcare decisions on behalf of the grantor if they become incapacitated or unable to express their medical preferences. It includes decisions about treatment options, medical procedures, and end-of-life care.

Having a trusted agent ensures that your medical needs are met in accordance with your wishes. This helps reduce the burden on family members and can provide clarity during a difficult time. It's a way to ensure your healthcare preferences are respected, even when you cannot voice them yourself.

Secure your future with Attorney Suzanne DeWitt

An estate planning attorney can work with you to help you prepare for the future. Attorney Suzanne DeWitt of Dewitt PLLC has extensive experience working with high-net-worth, very-high-net-worth, and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. We carefully consider your assets, investments, and liabilities and will help you create a plan that matches your goals and priorities.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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