Pinellas County Singles Estate Plan

When a Pinellas County Florida single person dies without an estate plan, his or her parents are usually the ones who are legally entitled to make health care decisions during life and inherit the estate at death. This happens even if the single person lives with another person who is more significant to them than their parents. That’s why it’s important for Pinellas County singles to have an estate plan: to name who they want as beneficiaries and as decision makers when they cannot make them.

Pinellas County Florida probate and real estate lawyer James W. Martin typically drafts these estate plan documents for single persons:

Last Will and Testament: This legal document says two things — who is entitled to your assets at your death, and who will be your personal representative or executor after your death. This does not take effect until death. It can be revoked and a new will signed as many times as you want before death. A will does not avoid probate at death, but it names who you want to be your beneficiaries and handle your estate.

Living Trust: A revocable living trust is sometimes drafted to hold assets that the Pinellas County Florida single person wants to avoid probate. The trust says that the trust assets are owned for the benefit of the single person during life and then, like a will, names the beneficiaries entitled to the trust assets at death. The trust assets avoid probate on the single person’s death because it names a successor trustee to handle the trust assets at the single person’s death.

Durable Power of Attorney: This appoints someone to act for you during your lifetime. This document is effective immediately when signed so it should only be used if there is someone you absolutely trust to have control over your assets during your life. It can be revoked during life, and it has no effect after death.

Living Will, Designation of Health Care Surrogate, and Durable Health Care Power of Attorney: This is the legal document that names someone you trust to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself. It, too, can be revoked during life, and it has no effect after death.

Declaration of Preneed Guardian: This names who you would want to be your guardian if a court ever determined you were incapacitated and unable to handle your own affairs.

Consent to Disclose Estate Plan Documents: This document is similar to a HIPAA document, but instead of medical information it says who you want your lawyer to disclose your estate plan documents to.

Pinellas County Florida probate estate and trust attorney Jim Martin has drafted hundreds of estate plans for Pinellas County Florida residents.

The text on this page was written by James W. Martin, Esq. and was last updated on May 17, 2023.

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