florida attorneyWell, we made it. It is officially 2022, and, hopefully, things are looking up. We can’t say the same for the case numbers out there, but it’s best to think optimistically, as far as the new year goes. With 2022 upon us, it’s important to think about protecting any new assets that you have obtained or might obtain. In this article, we’ll discuss the most important assets to protect, and you can see if any of them fit you.

Tangible vs. Intangible Assets

Before we get into some examples of assets you must protect, we should discuss the difference between tangible and intangible assets. Tangible assets are, simply put, things you can touch. Intangible assets do not exist in physical form—they usually exist digitally or through legal documents. 

Examples of tangible assets include: land, equipment, vehicles, furniture, machinery, inventory, and securities, such as cash, stocks, and bonds. Intangible assets might encompass things like checking and savings accounts, health savings accounts, life insurance policies, retirement plans, and digital holdings.

Documents You Can Use 

There are some basic must-haves when it comes to your estate plan. Briefly, we’ll go through the basics of what you need to have in your legal toolkit as a savvy estate planner. If any of these sound confusing, don’t worry, as an estate planning attorney will easily be able to help.


The last will and testament is easily one of the most recognizable of all the end-of-life planning documents. This is a final expression of where you want your assets to go after you die. There are requirements to make a will legally valid, which is why it is not a good idea to try to create your will yourself. If a will is improper, that will cause an ensuing tangle in probate court. Contact a lawyer to have your will drawn up correctly. 


A trust is way to transfer an asset without having to go through probate court. That definition is simplified, but, in this context, it is what you need to know for a basic knowledge base. A trust is a three-party fiduciary relationship. The donor (you) transfers title to an asset to a second party, called a trustee. The trustee holds title to the asset until you designate that it should be transferred to the third party, the beneficiary. If the asset is transfer-upon-death, the beneficiary will receive it once you die, whether it’s a fund or a piece of land. 

Beneficiary Designations 

Every estate plan should have beneficiary designations. These designations are usually made when there is a life insurance policy, retirement account, or financial account established. These designations let you transfer assets directly to people, regardless of what your will says. You can designate individuals or your estate as the beneficiary. The rules differ, depending on the account itself.

Healthcare Power of Attorney 

A power of attorney is a trusted individual that is key to protecting your assets. If you’re too sick or otherwise incapacitated to make decisions yourself, a healthcare POA can make medical decisions on your behalf. A financial power of attorney carries out much the same function, except, instead of medical decisions, he or she makes financial decisions for you when you cannot. As you can see, making sure your POA is trustworthy and sensible is extremely important for this legal tool.

Letter of Intent 

Last but not least, a good estate plan should include a letter of intent. This document usually includes instructions about how the executors of your estate should manage your will. The document can be persuasive in court, should there be any questions or challenges. Whether it is legally binding depends on the state, but, at the very least, it gives your loved ones important information about your end-of-life decisions. 

This list isn’t exhaustive, but you could find it useful when thinking about your estate planning for 2022. You don’t want to wait to update your estate plan, contact an estate planning attorney today to talk about new updates for the new year.