Estate Planning Suggestions

Good morning and welcome to this second video blog. I'm coming to you today to go over some suggestions and information regarding estate planning. If you're new to my blogs, I try to post them every couple of weeks or so to give you more information that might be helpful as you're trying to determine what you might need legally.

I was talking to my mom about a month ago regarding the blog, and she was telling me at a place she used to work how there was a guy there that did a blog and how he would often use anecdotes or stories to help explain some information and make it a little bit more interesting. And I thought that's a really good idea. So I'm gonna try and do that to keep it interesting because I know the law, for the most part, is not a really interesting topic to most people.

So what I was talking to her. I went up to Ohio, actually, last Sunday for Mother's Day, to surprise my mom. I'm from Ohio originally, I just moved down to Florida about a year or so ago, and I do love it down here, but I do miss my family up in Ohio. So I went up there to visit her for Mother's Day, to surprise her, and we were actually talking about estate planning. So she had said to me, "You know, you're down in Florida now, have you gotten your estate planning up and running?" She's pretty organized so she worries about those things. Unfortunately I, even as an estate planning attorney, have not done my own estate planning yet. So I have to get definitely going on that so I can make sure that I have everything organized.

So for those of you that are kind of in a similar situation as me, it is important to get estate planning done. There's few reasons for that. One, it helps to let the people know in your life who and where you want your items to go upon your death. Two, it lets the court system know where you want your things to go when a probate is initiated. Thirdly, it can help avoid probate if you set estate planning up in a certain way. So what I suggest to my clients that come in for a consult is to at least have the four standard documents that I call "the simplified estate planning." And those four documents include a will, power of attorney, health care power of attorney, and a living will. Now, three of those documents are applicable during your lifetime, and one of those documents is applicable after you pass away. 

So the last will and testament is a document that is used after you pass away. This is a document that tells everybody, "These are where I want my things to go, and this is who I want to be in control of those things while making sure everything goes where it's supposed to." This is the document that would be submitted to probate because a lot of people think that by creating a will, you avoid probate. And that is not the case. So that would be the document that's provided to probate to let the probate court know where you want your things to go.  

The other three documents, the general healthcare power of attorney, the durable power of attorney and the living will, all go to what happens during your lifetime. These are documents that help control who you want to make your decisions for you as far as healthcare decisions or financial decisions in the event that you're unable to make decisions for yourself. For example, say you are in a coma, or you are under anesthetic, or you're in a situation where you just can't make your own decisions for you. This is the documents that you would use to determine who you want to make those decisions for you in the event you can't make them for yourself. So those are the four estate planning documents that I suggest everybody has. 

Now, in some circumstances, depending on your assets and your debts, and the situation regarding your household, perhaps it's your second marriage, there is multiple kids from different marriages, same-sex couples, things such as that, it may involve some additional planning that needs done based on what your circumstances. And in that situation, you may be looking at a trust, a revocable trust, irrevocable trust, some gifting, some tax planning, some different things such as that.

So here at Jennifer Hamey, PA, you would sit down and you would meet with us, most likely with me, I handle the estate planning, and we would go over your entire scenario for your particular fact pattern, for your life, and determine what estate planning would be best for your needs and your interests. There's no charge for the first consultation. And I spend about 30 to 45 minutes with you just going over your snapshot of life to determine what would be in the best interest for you.

So if you'd like to give us a call and meet with us, we'll be happy to do so. You can reach me at 941-932-6217 and we can set up an appointment, or you're also welcome to send me an email at if you'd like to go that route in contacting me to set up an appointment. Hope everybody has a great day, and we'll talk with you soon. 

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