Incapacity/Estate Planning & Asset Preservation

Phone: (954) 975-5159
Fax: (954) 972-4701

c/o MacLean & Ema
2600 N.E. 14th Street Causeway
Pompano Beach, Florida 33062

Florida's Voice on Developmental Disabilities














Basic Incapacity & Estate Planning Considerations

I. Documents for Incapacity & to Avoid Guardianship

  1. Durable Power of Attorney
    -Third party can take over all non-medical matters for you
  2. Health Care Surrogate
    -Third party can make all medical decisions for you
  3. Pre-Need Guardian
    -Names guardian of your choice during your incapacity
  4. Stand-By Guardian
    -Names successor guardian if guardian unable to serve
  5. Do Not Resuscitate Order
    -Tells paramedics NOT to resuscitate you
  6. Living Will
    -Tells hospital not to keep you alive artificially
  7. Living Trust (Inter Vivos Trust) - revocable/irrevocable
    -Document names trustee of your assets & beneficiaries
        You can receive income during lifetime from it, and during any period(s) of incapacity
    -Trust assets need to be retitled in trust name
    -Excellent to avoid guardianship, to avoid probate, for family members with special needs,
        for minors, for large life insurance policies, & may be required to receive/retain govt. benefits
  8. Insurance: life, disability, health, long term care, etc.

II. Documents Effective Upon Death

  1. Last Will & Testament (probate instructions)
    -Document names your personal representative & beneficiaries for any assets you own alone at death
  2. Testamentary Trust (trust in a Last Will & Testament)
    -Trust is established after you die via probate process
  3. Living Trust (Inter Vivos Trust) - see above I/7
  4. Life Insurance

III. Federal Estate Taxes [Unified Credit]

In 2002-03: $1 million; In 2004-05: $1.5 million
In 2006-08: $2 million; In 2009: $3.5 million; In 2010: 0 tax;
In 2011-2013: $ 5.25 million; In 2014: $5.34 million; In 2015: $ 5.43 million;
In 2016: $ 5.45 million; In 2017: $ 5.49 million; In 2018: $11.2 million

IV. Probate (upon death )

Probate, a judicial process, occurs if one dies leaving assets titled in one’s name alone.
To avoid probate, one can:
    (a) title all assets jointly or in trust for third party - OR
    (b) establish a living trust.

Everyone is unique and so is their family situation. Therefore, a plan that suits one person may not suit another. Consult a professional to discuss these topics in detail and to learn the advantages and disadvantages.