Estate Planning

Begin to plan your legacy today by contacting Brodzki Jacobs & Associates, PL.

Will

A Will is a document that every person should prepare, because it lays out the way in which you property will be distributed upon your death.  In addition to determining how your property is divided, a Will allows you to designate guardians for minor children and establish trusts for their benefit in the event you pass before they are of sufficient maturity to manage the property you leave behind. 

If you die without leaving a Will, state intestacy laws will dictate how your property is divided.  These laws are often not in line with what you would hope to have happen upon your death.  To avoid leaving your last wishes in the hands of the state, call Brodzki Jacobs & Associates, PL to plan your affairs today.

Trust

estate-planning.jpegTrusts are documents that provide many benefits both during one’s lifetime and upon one’s death.  Some of the benefits of establishing a trust include protecting assets from future creditors of the grantor and/or beneficiaries, tax savings to beneficiaries, avoiding probate and keeping the division of your assets private.  Trusts allow their creators to have more control over when and how their assets are gifted to their beneficiaries.

A trust can be revocable or irrevocable.  The former are generally set up to allow the grantor maintain control over his or her assets and to avoid the costly probate process for his or her beneficiaries.

An irrevocable trust comes allows for more creative tax planning and asset protection.  The grantor usually gives up control over the assets upon titling them to the trust, as the grantor generally does not act as trustee of an irrevocable trust. 

It is important to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to determine what type of trust is best for your situation.

Health Care Documents

The main health care documents that every person should prepare are the Living Will, Designation of Health Care Surrogate and HIPPA Release.  The Living Will allows you to give specific directions regarding end-of-life care and whether you want your doctors to provide life-prolonging treatment depending on your condition.  A Health Care Surrogate is the person designated in advance to make health care decisions for you in the event you are unable to make them yourself.  This person can ensure that your wishes, as stated in your Living Will are carried out.  A HIPPA Release allows those designated to obtain healthcare information and other information from third parties who are subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Durable Power of Attorney

A Durable Power of Attorney allows a person that you would designate as your agent to make financial decisions on your behalf in the event of your incapacity.  In Florida, this document becomes effective immediately so a lot of thought should be given when appointing your agent.