Florida Estate Planning and Probate Law Blog focused on recent case law and planning ideas.

MAKE YOUR FINAL DECISIONS EARLY

 
Over seventy (70%) percent of Americans, dream of spending their final days at home, in peace and comfort, surrounded by loved ones who care for you compassionately until their last breath. In reality, seventy (70%) percent actually die in a hospital, nursing home or long-term care facility. To avoid this happening to you, it's never too early to start planning because there are no guarantees for the future.
 
Prepare Estate Planning Documents. According to a survey, forty-one (41%) percent of all baby boomers do not have an estate plan and fifty (50%) percent of all Americans die without a valid Last Will and Testament. As a result, your state of residence, at date of death, will determine how your assets are distributed.
 
Protect Minor Children. According to a survey, fifty-five (55%) percent of Americans, with minor children, do not have an estate plan and have not named a legal guardian for their children. As a result, the state will determine who receives custody of the minor child(ren) if both parents die.
 
End-Of-Life Care. Less than one-third (1/3) of Americans have an advanced directive (Power of Attorney, Health Care Surrogate and Living Will). These instruments can provide valuable instructions to health care professionals on the type and extent of care to be delivered in a life-threatening situation. Without a Living Will or other form of advance directive, in the event of an end of life situation you will receive aggressive, full medical treatment, which you may not really want and have no one to enforce your desires.
 
Final Remembrance. How and where you choose to be laid to rest is a personal decision. Whether it be a military funeral, social style or small family event, it is important to make your family aware of your desires in advance. You can also make arrangements in advance for your own funeral and leave detailed instructions so your loved ones will know what to arrange for you.
 
Talk To Your Loved Ones. To avoid conflicts over how to handle financial, health care, or after-death arrangements, you should communicate your specific desires (sit down conversation, detailed instructions, etc.) and create the necessary legal documents to ensure your desires are met. This should include future placement in an assisted living facility or retirement home or spending your final days at home