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Miami, FL 33180

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Live the good life by estate planning

As more Floridians reach ages well into their 90s, an increasing number of elderly residents are seeking to live "the good life." Experts say that planning for a "good death" is equally as important as maximizing the remaining years of your life; however, by considering proper estate planning processes, you can minimize the stress associated with your passing.

The number of Americans who are unprepared to legally and financially deal with their own deaths is difficult to estimate, but experts say that a vast number of residents are unaware of the legal implications behind wills and estate plans. As a society, we are quick to plan for births, weddings, vacations and other events, but we often fail to plan for one of the most impactful occurrences in our lives: our own deaths.

Not only should you include certain documents in your estate plan, such as burial and insurance information, bank statements and loans, birth certificates and other important information, you should also think about adding non-traditional information. Consider the destinations of your most cherished possessions. If you want your wedding ring to go to a daughter or niece, for example, be sure to plan for that transfer. Many people also say they want to throw everyone a big party when they die. If that is the case, a party plan will be necessary. These events, often called "going-away parties" must be funded from the estate.

To help your family members oversee your estate's distribution, consider creating an instant action folder that will provide all information necessary for a relative to respond to your death or a serious health event. Create a document that includes contact information for loved ones to get in touch with each other if such an event occurs.

If you are uncertain about these and other provisions that should be included in your estate plan, do not delay in contacting a qualified probate attorney. These professionals can help you learn more about your estate's legal and financial responsibilities.

Source: money.usnews.com, "Living a good life includes preparing for death" Philip Moeller, Jun. 17, 2013