Terms You Should Know for Estate Planning in Miami, FL

Terms You Should Know for Estate Planning in Miami, FL

September 28, 2019

There are many different processes associated with estate planning, each of which requires the use of different tools and legal devices. It should come as no surprise, then, that as you go through the process of planning your estate you will encounter a variety of terms with which you may or may not be familiar.

Here are just a few examples of some terms that are good to be familiar with while working on your estate planning in Miami, FL:

  • Power of attorney: Power of attorney is a type of estate planning tool that allows you to grant another person the power to make certain decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so yourself. Examples could include healthcare power of attorney, which gives your chosen agent the ability to make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated, or durable power of attorney for finances, which grants your agent the ability to make financial decisions on behalf of you and your estate.
  • Beneficiary: A beneficiary is a person who will receive assets from an account or trust after you pass away. You can name anyone to be a beneficiary, and can change your beneficiary designations at any time.
  • Grantor: The grantor is the person who sets up or creates a trust.
  • Trustee: The trustee is the person who is tasked with administrating the trust after the death of the grantor.
  • Incapacitation: There are many elements of estate plans that only go into effect upon the incapacitation of the person who developed the plan. A doctor must be able to certify incapacity. A person who is incapacitated is medically unable to make their own decisions. Examples could be a person who is in a coma, or a person who is severely mentally disabled due to a condition such as dementia.
  • Guardianship: Guardianship is a program overseen by the court system that gives people who are unable to manage their own affairs as a result of physical or mental handicap an assigned person who can handle their affairs for them.
  • Intestate: A person who passes away “intestate” is someone who died without a will. Their assets get passed on according to the state’s laws of intestate succession, which provide an overview of the order of priority for heirs from the family and close circle of the decedent.
  • Decedent: The decedent is the person who passed away and left behind an estate.
  • Probate: Probate is the legal process that estates must go through after the death of the decedent. It involves validating a will, paying off debts associated with the estate and distributing assets to all heirs and beneficiaries.
  • Special gifts: These are specific items you list in your will or estate plan that you designate for specific individuals or organizations. They may also be referred to as “special bequests.”

For more examples of some common terms related to estate planning in Miami, FL that you may encounter while creating your will, contact the office of Ruben J. Padron, PA today.

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