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When should I start estate planning?

When Is The Best Time To Consider Estate Planning?

Gainesville elder law attorney Shannon Miller discusses estate planning. When is the best time to start thinking about your future? What can you do now, to ensure that your assets will be handled according to your wishes?

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“I would say that, number one, the best thing about determining when you need an estate plan is, first of all, you want to have a little bit of stuff. If you have children, then you definitely want to do it, but then if you also have a beneficiary, who would not be a beneficiary under an intestacy. ‘Intestacy’ means you die without a will. For example, we’re in a same sex relationship, or we’re in a relationship with someone and we’re not married, but you wanted to provide some assets to that person after you died or wanted to take advantage of any tax benefits there might be. It’s really important for those people who don’t have a marriage that’s recognized in the State of Florida to have an estate plan.

More importantly, that you have a durable power of attorney and a designation of health care surrogate, because if you become incapacitated, and someone needs to make decisions for you–and you would prefer that that person who’s your significant other make those decisions on your behalf–under the rules in Florida right now, you have to have a durable power of attorney or a designation of health care surrogate. You’d have to have a will in order to provide those types of benefits or control to that person.”

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