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Understanding the Three P’s of Estate Planning

#1 – People

Who are the “Important People” in your life? Beginning with yourself, they also likely include your loved ones: your spouse if you are married, children and grandchildren if you have any, perhaps your parents, siblings or other relatives. Beyond these, however, “Important People” also could include charities, special causes, colleges or universities, or churches to which you are committed. For some, “Important People” could even include pets. Spend some time thinking about the impact others have had on your life. Make a list and jot notes if you like. This is where the planning process truly begins.

#2 – Property

By “Property,” we are referring to your assets in general. Make a list of the assets you own or control. Think through your assets in terms of their nature (cash, stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.), their approximate value, and the way in which you hold ownership (i.e., Do you own assets in your name only, in joint tenancy with someone else, or through a trust agreement or some other arrangement?) Be sure to include often-overlooked assets like life insurance (the death benefit, not the cash value), business interests, and any inheritance you may expect to receive.

#3 – Plans

After identifying the Important People in your life and your Property, the next step is to consider the plans you wish to make for those People (including yourself) and Property, in anticipation of incapacity and/or death.

Who would you name to make decisions for you if you could no longer do so yourself? Would the same person handle your finances and your personal and health care decisions? Who would care for your minor children? How would you distribute your assets to your heirs? Would you prefer to spare your heirs the potential cost and hassles of the probate process? Would you like to minimize the impact of estate taxes… or maximize the impact of a charitable bequest? Is there someone in your family with special needs for whom you would like to provide? Is there someone who perhaps should not receive a great deal of (or any) money without some outside oversight?

These are just a few of the issues to consider when approaching the planning process.

When You Are Ready

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South Florida Estate Planning Attorney Brian C. Perlin, assists clients with Estate Planning, Elder Law, Probate Court, Probate & Estate Administration, Long-Term Care, Medicaid Planning, Veterans Benefits, Charitable Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Tax Planning, Business Succession and Asset Protection, in the cities of Miami, Coral Gables, and Kendal, Florida, and the surrounding areas.

 

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

AV® Preeminent™ and BV® Distinguished™ are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.