Jacksonville Wills and Estate Planning Attorney
Jacksonville Estate Planning Lawyer
Leanne Perez can prepare an estate plan for you to include a variety of instruments, such as a
- Durable Power of Attorney
- Health Care Surrogate/Power of Attorney
- Advance Directive (Living Will)
LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT
A Florida will gives the testator (the person writing the will) the opportunity to make sure their spouse, children, other loved ones, and property are taken care of. A will is a legal document which may be accepted by a court with probate power and normally states how property is to be distributed after a person's death. The beneficiaries will frequently need to go to court for a judicial determination of who receives the property if title must be established in order to obtain the property. This commonly includes land, bank accounts, stock and similar types of property.
A person, who dies without a will, is "intestate” which means that person's property will be distributed by the probate court as directed by law. Failure to leave a valid will that clearly sets forth your intentions can greatly increase the cost of probate and delay the division of property. It is always advisable to prepare a will.
A Florida last will and testament may be changed whenever the testator wants to do so through the use of a codicil, which is an addition or amendment that must be executed with the same formalities as a will in order for it to be valid. The testator must be of sound mind and not under undue influence, duress, or fraud in order for a change in a will to be valid.
A Florida will may be revoked at any time by the testator by another written will, codicil, or other writing executed with the same formalities as the will or by an act of “burning, tearing, canceling, defacing, obliterating, or destroying it with the intent, and for the purpose, of revocation” by the testator or by someone else in the testator's presence and at the testator's direction.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Florida Power of Attorney is a legal document that transfers authority from one person to another (agent) to assure that certain business decisions and financial transactions will be handled in the way you wish them to be, even if you are not able to attend to them personally, or if you become incapacitated. The nature of the authority granted by a Power of Attorney can be broad or limited to very specific acts. Once the document is signed, the agent has the immediate authority to exercise his/her powers.
Without a properly drafted Durable Power of Attorney, your loved ones could face obstacles when they try to deal with your bank, brokerage, insurance companies, even your utility companies. Furthermore, without a Durable Power of Attorney in place, the court would have to appoint a guardian to represent the disabled individual. Guardianship proceedings take time, are costly and add to the stress already endured by the family.
HEALTH CARE SURROGATE/POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Health Care Surrogate (also known as a Health Care Power of Attorney) is a power of attorney created by a principal (the grantor of the power) allowing the agent (the person designated to act on behalf of the principal) to make any necessary health care decisions for the principal and to see that doctors and other health care providers give the principal the type of care he or she wishes to receive.This document only take effect during the principal's life and when it has been determined that the principal cannot act for himself/herself to make informed health care decisions.LIVING WILLIn contrast to a last will and testament, a living will is a written declaration that provides instructions about whether you want life-prolonging procedures if you are diagnosed with a terminal or end-stage condition or if you are in a persistent vegetative state (permanent coma). A living will, called an “advance directive” under Florida law, would take effect during a person’s life, if necessary, while a last will and testament does not take effect until the person passes away.