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Estate planning: It’s for everyone

Estate planning is right there among favored topics such as your child’s latest accomplishments, your new car, your first kiss, favorite movie and what you did on your summer vacation. Just kidding, of course. No one is eager to plan what will happen when you die.

But if you have children or a spouse or a house or a business, it makes sense to take a few minutes to protect those you love with well-considered estate planning.

A Florida estate-planning attorney who lives about 500 miles northwest of Cocoa said in a recent news article that people of all ages and financial backgrounds need an estate plan that includes a will, durable power of attorney, living will and health care declaration and designation.

With those tools, you ensure that those you care about – whether it is your kids, spouse, other family members or charities – receive your assets as you see fit, rather than as a probate court sees fit. An estate plan puts you in control.

“If you have a will, you control the distribution of your property rather than the state. You may not agree with the way in which the state would distribute your property,” the attorney said.

The durable power of attorney enables you to pick a specific person to make financial decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do it yourself.

The health care declaration and designation is similar in that you designate someone to make medical decisions for you if you’re incapacitated.

A living will ensures that your end-of-life decisions about health care and support are honored.

You can discuss these matters with an attorney who understands not only the law, how to address these matters in a cost- and time-efficient manner.

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