ADDITIONAL ESTATE PLANNING RELATED DOCUMENTS, CONCEPTS & PLANNING ISSUES
1. Durable General Power of Attorney for Property: Assists in smooth management of property-related affairs in the event of illness, injury, incapacity, disability, or absence. A MUST!!
2. Health Care Declaration and Designation: Assists in obtaining quality medical care if health deteriorates and you are unable to provide “informed consent”. Often one of the first documents asked for by a hospital. Please complete other questionnaire enclosed herewith. A MUST!!
3. Power of Attorney for Minor’s Care: Assists in obtaining medical services for a minor child should the parent(s) be absent. A MUST for all families having minor children.
4. Living Will: Helps avoid artificially sustained life support when there is essentially “no hope of recovery.” Please complete other questionnaire enclosed herewith. A MUST!!
5. Spousal Consent Form: Generally required when completing new retirement benefit beneficiary designations of any kind, — company pension plan, 401(k), IRAs of all types.
6. Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation Change Form: A new beneficiary designation is nearly always required to coordinate the payment of life insurance proceeds with the overall estate plan. (An “irrevocable life insurance trust” is helpful for some families having (a) potential estate tax issues [generally for estates that exceed $2 million in value]; and (b) “significant” amounts of life insurance.) Never name your “estate” or minor children as the secondary beneficiary of insurance or retirement benefits.
7. Joint Tenancy Declaration: Helps establish “title” to assets normally having no generally recognized title. Minimizes probate expenses and unintended heirs of such. Some form of recognition/declaration is also helpful in second marriage/blended family situations involving children from a prior marriage.
8. Revocable Living Trust: MAY minimize probate expenses, shorten time before distribution, reduce public disclosure of personal affairs, and provide some protection during lifetime. A Revocable Trust may also provide invaluable incapacity planning. Using a Revocable Living Trust as the basic document requires a long-term client commitment through the time of death for greatest benefit. Revocable Living Trusts are NOT everyone’s estate planning answer!!! Generally revocable living trusts are better suited for older adults (55 and older), persons who own real estate outside the state of their domicile, second marriages, and those who have been convinced by going to seminars. “Common law” trusts and “offshore” planning almost always benefit the seller of the services more than you.
9. Organ and Tissue Donations: Noting your wishes on the back of your Driver’s License is a simple, inexpensive, and helpful way to carry out special wishes concerning donation of your body parts, or organs. Adding this to your Will is not “practical”. If you wish to donate your organs, then another close family member/friend should also be informed of your wishes.
10. “Tenancy by the Entirety”: It is now possible to provide additional “creditor protection” (“asset protection” being another term that I use from time to time) for your assets through use of “tenancy by the entirety” rather than “joint tenants with right of survivorship.” Tenancy by the entirety is the same as joint tenancy but with additional creditor/asset protection. There may be estate tax considerations which preclude utilization of tenancy by the entirety ownership.
11. “Asset Protection” Planning: Simply means keeping your property out of the hands of people you or your heirs don’t think should have it. It is my belief that the philosophy of some people to “sue everyone for anything” will continue through my lifetime and yours. Problems can arise simply from a child being in the wrong place at the wrong time, poor selection of spouses/friends/acquaintances, failure to have adequate liability insurance coverage to cover judgments, etc. I like “asset protection” planning. Asset protection plans and strategies range from being very simple to very complex, “tenants by the entirety” being an example of a very simple approach. Please let me know if you care to discuss “asset protection” planning in more detail.
12. Conflict of Interest Matters: It is generally easiest (and cheapest) for one attorney to help both the husband and the wife develop a common family estate plan. Marital relationships, however, can change over time. Happy couples can become unhappy couples. Couples who agree today may disagree in the future. Sometimes these changes are minor. Sometimes they are or become major and serious. The general rule in Florida is for each person to have his or her own attorney. This may be helpful in some respects but not in other respects. Two approaches are common among lawyers regarding information imparted to them by both spouses: either (a) tell nothing to the other spouse; or (b) tell everything to the other spouse. My practice is to keep no secrets, information being shared with both parties.
Please check the appropriate boxes as to whether or not you want one attorney to help you with your estate planning matters.
My policy on “confidentiality” outside the marital relationship has been, is and will remain pretty simple: nothing gets shared with others unless you tell me to do so.
My policy on “confidentiality” outside a marital relationship has been, is and will remain pretty simple: nothing gets shared with others unless you tell me to do so.
13. Family-Related Issues: Some families have very good relationships. Other families do not. Some families have “unique circumstances,” some do not. Most families have a little bit of both.
Do any difficulties exist that may cause potential problems in the future?
I hereby acknowledge that Leuchtman Law, will prepare and make its recommendations relating to my estate planning and asset-protection planning based primarily upon the information provided to it pursuant to this questionnaire. I further acknowledge that it is our responsibility to advise Leuchtman Law of any material changes in my financial condition which occur subsequent to the date hereof.
We hereby acknowledge that Leuchtman Law, will prepare and make its recommendations relating to our estate planning and asset-protection planning based primarily upon the information provided to it pursuant to this questionnaire. We further acknowledge that it is our responsibility to advise Leuchtman Law of any material changes in our financial condition which occur subsequent to the date hereof.
Name: Full Name* Date: Date* Signature: Signature*
Spouse 1: Full Name* Date: Date* Signature Spouse 1: Signature*
Spouse 2: Full Name* Date: Date* Signature Spouse 2: Signature*