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3 Components to Integrated Estate Planning


By now, you’re probably aware that there are multiple benefits of executing a will and other estate planning documents. AARP describes a few of them in its publication on the Ultimate Guide to Estate Planning, including maintaining control over your assets during your lifetime, providing guidance to your loved ones upon death, and planning for incapacity or disability.

However, if you’re not yet familiar with “integrated” estate planning, it might be time to discuss the concept with a Dade City estate planning attorney. In general, an estate plan is considered integrated when it includes documents that work together to cover a wide range of situations and needs. The three main components include: 

  1. Lifetime Asset Protection and Management: Many people associate estate planning with death, but the truth is that there are many arrangements that offer benefits during your lifetime. Depending on your circumstances, you might seek to ensure others can manage assets if you become incapacitated, enable eligibility for Medicaid, or “spend down” your estate. You might also want to

protect assets from taxes or potential creditors without running afoul of laws regarding fraudulent transfers.

Integrated Estate Planning Options

  • Revocable trust, in which you’re the grantor in control over the assets in it;
  • Irrevocable trusts that take assets out of your ownership and control for tax advantages and Medicaid eligibility;
  • lifetime gift planning;
  • Durable power of attorney, where you designate someone to manage your property if you’re unable to do so.
  1. Health Care Related Issues: An integrated estate plan should also address situations in which you’re unable to make decisions regarding health care, whether because of illness, injury, or end-of-life scenarios. It’s important to make arrangements and declare your wishes for those situations.

Integrated Estate Planning Options

  • Designation of Health Care Surrogate appointing someone to make decisions on your behalf regarding medical care and treatment; and,
  • A living will that describes your wishes regarding your care.
  1. Estate Administration at Death: If you don’t have a will, your estate will pass to heirs according to the Florida laws of intestacy instead of according to your wishes. Plus, there are strategies for keeping your assets out of probate court entirely.

Integrated Estate Planning Options

  • Your will, in which you appoint an executor and describe how you want your assets distributed to beneficiaries;
  • Beneficiary designations on life insurance, bank accounts, real estate, and other assets that enable them to pass outside of probate; and,
  • Revocable and irrevocable trusts that avoid probate.

Contact a Dade City, FL Estate Planning Lawyer for More Information 

At The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane, we’re dedicated to advising clients on a wide range of estate planning needs, including the components described above. We can explain the role of these documents and how they can achieve your goals regarding an integrated estate plan. Please contact our firm at 352-567-0055 or complete our online contact form to set up a consultation at our Dade City, FL office today.


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