Having an effective estate plan is one of the most important aspects of one’s personal financial plan. Yet according to one source, “[m]ore than 50% of Americans think that estate planning is at least somewhat important, but only 33% have a will or living trust. When asked why they don’t have a will, 1 out of 3 respondents believes they don’t have enough assets to leave behind.”
While the specific components of an effective estate plan vary depending on a person’s age, goals, financial position, and life circumstances, the basic components include:
• a will: also known as a “testament” or a “last will and testament,” a legal document that expresses a person’s wishes as to how their property is to be distributed after their death and as to which person is to manage the property until its final distribution
• a durable power of attorney: a legal document authorizing someone else to handle certain matters, such as finances, on your behalf. If a power of attorney is durable, it remains in effect if you become incapacitated, such as due to illness or an accident. Durable powers of attorney help you plan for medical emergencies and declines in mental functioning and can ensure that your finances are managed when you’re unable to handle them
• a living will: a document expressing legal instructions regarding your preferences for medical care if you are unable to make decisions for yourself
• a health care surrogate designation: a written document designating a surrogate (i.e., someone you trust to act on your behalf) to make health care decisions or receive health information, or both
• a pre-need guardian designation: an instrument that allows you to recommend a person to serve as guardian of your person and/or guardian of your property in the event you become mentally or physically disabled and can no longer manage your own affairs
It is also important to note that Florida has unique, state-specific laws which govern the effectiveness and validity of wills and other documents.
Therefore, even if you have existing documents that were prepared by an attorney out-of-state, it may be critical to have them reviewed by a knowledgeable and licensed Florida attorney and CPA to ensure that your wishes will be carried out in full conformity with your intention.
If you don’t have an estate plan—or if you have old documents that need updating—
The Law Office of Chad D. Cummings, headquartered in PNC Bank Tower in Naples, is here to help.
If you retain my firm, I will meet with you individually to understand your desires and preferences to prepare a customized estate plan for you at a flat-fee of $895, consisting of the five specific documents identified above.
I will also assist you to execute those documents in full conformity with Florida law, ensuring all formalities are observed.
If, based upon our conversations, your needs are more complex—for example, you would benefit from establishing one or more trusts or require tax planning—I will provide those services, upon your direction and approval, at additional charge on fair and reasonable terms.
Use the buttons below to call or text me directly at (239) 682–9925, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or click here to set up a free meeting.
Time is of the essence; therefore, if you need assistance with your estate plan, it is important that you retain the services of a competent Florida attorney as soon as possible.
Should you choose to contact me, we will begin with a free, no obligation thirty minute meeting—via phone or face-to-face—to discuss your situation. Then, should you choose to retain my services, I will prepare and deliver to you for your approval a formal representation agreement.
Unless and until I receive the signed representation agreement returned by you, my firm will not have accepted any responsibility for your estate plan and will perform no work on your behalf. Please contact me today to get started.
/Southwest Florida Attorney and CPA
I am an attorney and Certified Public Accountant serving Southwest Florida.
Previously, I served in operations and finance with the world’s largest accounting firm (PricewaterhouseCoopers), airline (American Airlines), and bank (JPMorgan Chase & Co.). I have also created and advised a variety of start-up ventures.
I am a member of The Florida Bar, and I hold active CPA licensure in Florida and Texas and undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting and taxation from Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
My practice emphasizes, but is not limited to, the law as it intersects small businesses and their owners. I also assist clients with insurance claims, estate planning, and other legal matters on an ad hoc basis. I live and work in Naples, Florida.
If I can be of assistance, please call or text me directly at (239) 682–9925, email me at email@example.com, or click here to set up a free meeting.