Amelia Island Estate Planning Attorney
You can protect your legacy by working with an Amelia Island estate planning lawyer. Our team at Montague Law understands the laws regarding estate planning here in Florida. We work to ensure that everyone respects your wishes in the event that you become incapacitated or unable to speak for yourself.
You can contact us to discuss all your estate planning options. Reach out to a member of our team by calling us at 904-234-5653.
The Purposes of Estate Planning
At Montague Law, we understand that planning for the future might feel overwhelming. However, having a plan in place can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus more on enjoying the present.
We have experience handling the ins and outs of estate planning laws in Florida, making our company a sound choice when you’re looking for advice about the future. The estate planning process allows you to:
- Decide who will make decisions regarding your medical care if you become incapacitated
- Select who you’ll leave your possessions to after the end of your life
- Dictate the preservation and management of your assets
Estate planning also allows you to focus on all decisions associated with the aging process. You can set up an estate plan to dictate your preferences for medical care and information about how you plan to handle costs associated with medical treatment.
When to Contact a Nassau County Estate Planning Attorney
How do you know when it’s time to work with a Nassau County estate planning attorney? Some people wait until they retire or may keep pushing back a meeting with their lawyer. However, you can start the estate planning process at any time.
Estate planning rarely ends after one meeting with a lawyer. Instead, you can meet with a lawyer to set up an initial plan. You can adapt and change this plan as you age or experience pivotal life events, ensuring it stays up to date. You may want to change your estate plan based on:
- Births in the family
- Losses of family members
- Divorces or marriages
- Changes to your financial situation
- Purchases of expensive items
- Changes to your overall health
Your Amelia Island estate planning lawyer can help your plan maintain the flexibility you want to meet all of life’s many challenges. We keep your estate plan relevant to ease your transition into different stages of your life.
Stages for Handling Estate Planning
Our team members make setting up an estate plan easy. We use our experience in the legal field to walk you through each step of the process. Generally, we’ll begin the estate planning process by gathering initial information through a questionnaire.
You can mail or email the questionnaire back to our office in preparation for our first in-person meeting. The first meeting serves as a consultation that allows us to review your goals and assets. Once we are clear about your desires, we can offer you a quote for our services.
After you accept our quote, we can move on to discussing the documents we’ll prepare for your estate plan. We can host some of these meetings online. That way, you can get back to enjoying the beach or a nice round of golf faster.
We can provide you with an estate plan binder after we finish all the relevant paperwork. We keep the lines of communication open, even after completing the initial setup for an estate plan. You can contact members of our team anytime you have questions or need to adjust your plan.
Make Legal Decisions with Your Will
Many people think of writing their will when they consider estate planning. Setting up your last will and testament represents an important part of estate planning. You can use your will to legally determine how your belongings are distributed upon your passing.
The government can step in to determine how to handle your possessions if you do not have a will. Government representatives rarely worry about following your wishes, so make sure that you protect your legacy by setting up a will.
A will may also have other uses if you have minor children. You can use the will to select the people you want to care for your children if something happens to you. You can also include your expectations regarding childcare in your will.
Other Financial Options for Estate Planning
A will can help you legally dictate the distribution of your assets in the event of your death. However, a probate court will end up administering your will. Probate courts reach out to all creditors and other interested parties upon receiving a will. All probate cases from Amelia Island are handled by the Circuit Court for Nassau County.
A probate court can eventually distribute your property. However, the process often takes a long time and may prove costly to members of your family. In many cases, you can allow your family to avoid probate court by completing a revocable living trust.
A revocable living trust is a written document that details how you want your property distributed after you have passed. Unlike a will, a revocable living trust remains private. You can cut down on delays and public attention with a revocable living trust.
However, your family may face an estate tax liability if you use a revocable living trust for succession planning. You may also set up an asset protection trust, either domestically or internationally, to protect your possessions during the estate planning process.
Our team of lawyers can help you review all your options for estate planning here in Amelia Island.
Medical Decisions and Estate Planning
Estate planning allows you to make decisions about the medical care you want to receive should you become incapacitated. An Amelia Island estate planning attorney can file legal paperwork to ensure your wishes are respected, even if you cannot speak or communicate.
Many estate plans here in Florida include several powers of attorney. You may want a medical power of attorney and financial power of attorney. This kind of document allows you to legally select someone who will make decisions for you.
A medical power of attorney allows a loved one to approve or veto medical procedures on your behalf. A financial power of attorney, on the other hand, gives someone else the ability to use your financial accounts to pay for things like:
- Utility bills
You can select someone you trust to hold any power of attorney. This legal document grants the holder significant power to make decisions in your stead. You can also speak with the individual to whom you give a power of attorney to ensure that they understand your specific wishes.
Additionally, we recommend that you complete an Authorization for Release of Protected Health Information (HIPAA Release) when handling estate planning. This document permits healthcare professionals to share your medical information with specific individuals.
Your family members or caregivers can make better decisions about your well-being if they have all the facts. You can find out more about how to set up your estate plan to protect your future health by contacting our team today.
Complete a Family Guidance Letter for Your Loved Ones
You can also include a family guidance letter within your estate plan. This letter records your final wishes, and you may address it to your:
- Personal representatives
While many estate planning documents deal directly with your finances, you can use a family guidance letter to convey other wishes. For example, this document may include information about the care of your pets or how you want your online accounts handled in the event of your death.
You may also include information about financial subjects in your family guidance letter. Many people use these letters to dictate instructions for funding a trust. We can help you review all the facts about a family guidance letter.
Consider a Living Will in Amelia Island
Finally, your lawyer may advise you to create a living will here in Florida. This document does not focus on your financial needs, as a last will and testament would. Instead, a living will focuses more on medical decisions that people often need to make quickly.
You can use a living will to express your wishes about emergency medical care. A living will can dictate whether you want extraordinary measures taken to save you if something goes wrong.
Living wills are more important legally if you do not have a medical power of attorney. These documents still provide your family with some indication of your wishes without giving another individual greater control over medical decisions. You can find out more about your options by reaching out to our team.