August means back to school! Today, instead of math or history, it’s all about planning for the future – estate planning to be exact!
Question #1: True or false? Do you have to appoint the same person for handling both your financial and your health choices if you are unable to? Absolutely not! You can pick different people who excel in different areas. Think of your friend who’s a CPA or financial wizard and your daughter who knows their way around a stethoscope.
Many folks think that the person who looks after your children must be the same person who handles their inheritance. But that’s a myth! You can pick a loving, caring guardian for your children and choose someone else entirely to manage the money side of things.
Let’s say your own kids aren’t quite cut out for the task of running your estate, maybe they’re not the organizing type or they’re too much of a perfectionist. In that case, it might be best to bring in a professional to take on the role. Not only could this save your assets, but it could also keep the family peace. Now that’s what we call a win-win!
Question #2: True or false? If you never got around to making an estate plan or haven’t updated it in a while, Florida Law will do what your family “knows” you wanted.
False! Florida Law does step in to pick up the slack with some ‘default settings’, but that is a one-size-fits-most approach, and who wants that when you can have your own customized plan! Florida Law may provide that your spouse will make decisions, but you may not want your spouse to make your decisions, then remarry, disinheriting your children.
Big life changes – think weddings, divorces, retiring, switching jobs, or welcoming a new baby (or saying a sad goodbye to someone) – can all signal it’s time to revisit your estate plan.
And let’s not forget, tax laws and estate planning rules are constantly changing. So, it’s a smart move to give your plan a regular health check. Even if you don’t need to make any tweaks, catching up with your estate planning attorney for a review can offer peace of mind. After all, you want to be sure everything’s in order when it really counts.
Question #3: True or false? A simple will is a cheaper, cloned version of a trust? False!
A will only kicks into action after you’re gone, but a trust gets to work even if you can’t, like during periods of illness. Plus, trusts skip the legal red tape of probate court. So, while a will might seem cheaper at first glance, a trust could save you time, money, and stress in the long run.
So, whether you aced the quiz or not, the key takeaway is this: keep your estate plan up-to-date and choose your decision-makers wisely. After all, it’s your future we’re talking about, and that’s one test we all want to pass!
Andrea L. Jakob, PA is located at 12401 Orange Drive, Suite 219 in Davie.
They can be reached at 954-862-1479 or on the at www.jakoblegal.com.