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    Our Firm?

    We limit the number of clients that we have at one time, allowing us to focus on your case.

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    Find out if you and your family can benefit from our elder law planning services!

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Estate Planning Isn't Just About What Happens When You Die

When clients meet with me to talk about designing their estate plan, they are sometimes surprised that we start with discussions about what happens while they are still alive. Isn’t an estate plan supposed to convey your wishes for what happens once you die? Yes, that is one goal of the estate planning process. An equally important goal is to make sure that what you want to happen and who you want to speak for you if you are alive, but incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself due to an illness or an injury, is documented.

Estate planning documents can be grouped into three broad categories. The first category of documents speak for you while you are alive but lose their ability to speak for you once you die. These documents are typically a durable power of attorney, a healthcare surrogate designation and a living will. In general, a durable power of attorney outlines who you want to speak for you on financial and other day-to-day issues. A healthcare surrogate outlines who you want to speak for you regarding medical issues and a living will communicates your wishes about receiving or not receiving life prolonging treatments when you are for example, in a persistent vegetative state.

The second category of documents speak for you once you die but have no ability to speak for you while you are alive because until you die, you can change your mind and change the documents. These documents are typically a will and a payable on death designation on bank accounts or brokerage accounts.

The third category of documents combine both speaking for you while you are alive, but incapacitated and speaking for you once you die into one document. These documents are typically some form of a revocable living trust. Parts of trust are effective while you are alive and parts of the trust don’t become effective until you die.

So, learning that estate planning is really as much about protecting you while you are living as it is about protecting your loved ones once you die usually turns out to be a pleasant surprise.

  • Why Choose
    Our Firm?

    We limit the number of clients that we have at one time, allowing us to focus on your case.

    Personalized Representation
  • Know the
    Benefits

    Find out if you and your family can benefit from our elder law planning services!

    More Information
  • Dedicated & Experienced

    Our firm exclusively handles elder law concerns so your family can obtain peace of mind.

    Meet Your Attorney
  • Complimentary Consultation

    Let us help. Request your consultation today and we will be in touch.

    Contact Us Now

Contact Us

Edwards Elder Law, P.A.
St. Petersburg Elder Law Attorney
Located at: 2510 1st Ave. N.,
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
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Phone: (727) 755-5808
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.