If your sickness mitigation plan is packaged in one little pill that claims to enrich your body with not one, but “multi” vitamins,” the newly-published editorial in Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that a reevaluation is in order. The piece says that “taking supplements offers no benefit when it comes to preventing cardiovascular disease, cancer or a second heart attack.” However, those in the study lived healthier lifestyles than the average American, because most Americans don’t have a healthy diet, and therefore, don’t get the vitamins and minerals they need. Thus, if you are dealing with a vitamin C deficiency, you can guzzle some OJ, or pop your multivitamin; nevertheless, you will need a back up plan to mitigate your health risks. Furthermore, until your packaged-plan includes a mortality pill, you will also need to prepare for health related events that extend beyond the common vitamin deficiency. The following documents will ensure that you maintain control of your assets during sickness, incapacity, and death (aka, the life-deficiency).
When dealing with sickness, you will want to have a Combination Living Will & Designation of Healthcare Surrogate in place – this outlines important healthcare decisions in advance, and appoints a healthcare surrogate to make healthcare decisions for you when you become unable to do so yourself. In the event of incapacitation, you will also want to have a document drafted that names a Durable Power of Attorney who can step in your shoes and legally act on your behalf. In terms of after-life planning, you want to make sure that your loved ones are protected, and your assets are distributed according to your wishes. This will require the following:
- Living Trust – a living trust has become increasingly desirable due to its ability to avoid probate (the legal process of determining whether a will is valid). If you are married, you may want to designate yourself and your spouse as co-trustees, so that you have full control over the property while you are still alive. Side Note: such control does have tax consequences, so you will want to discuss this with your estate planning attorney.
- Assignment of Property – this is exactly that, assigning your property to your trust. In other words, placing your property into the trust. This includes both real & personal property. A trust does not do anything for you if there is no property in it.
- Last Will & Testament – this is your traditional will that is used upon death to distribute property to beneficiaries, specify last wishes, and name guardians for minor children.
Don’t let a little deficiency stand in your way – plan ahead! For more information on successful Florida estate planning and asset protection techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners, P.A. at 954-944-2855 to schedule your free consultation.
It’s a Wild world. Are you protected?SM