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Reasons We Don’t Create an Estate Plan

More than 50% of American have no formal estate plan. Of those who do, many of them are woefully out of date or were created without the assistance of an attorney and did not properly dispose of assets or protect interests.

We’ve heard all the excuses why people don’t create an estate plan. Let’s try to address a few of them:

“It’s too much hassle.”

We get it, sitting down with an attorney is no one’s favorite thing to do. (We’ll try not to be offended.) However, we’ve to streamlined the process as much as possible.

We have prepared a comprehensive Estate Planning Questionnaire that will walk you through all the information necessary and to make the most efficient use of your time. The Questionnaire is designed to gather necessary background information and get you thinking about the estate planning process and will serve as a guide for your consultation.

You can even schedule your consultation online - easy!

“I don’t have enough to justify estate planning.”

Do you have kids? A house? A bank account? A car? Life insurance or retirement through your job? If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you have enough to justify estate planning. Every adult, regardless of their financial or family situation, needs some form of estate and incapacity planning.

What most people don’t realize is estate planning is just as much about planning for life as it is about preparing for death. Among other things, a comprehensive estate plan will allow someone to make medical decisions and manage your personal and financial affairs if you were unable due to accident or illness.

“I don’t want to think about dying.”

No one does. But we’re all going to die one day. Sadly, most of us will suffer some period in our life of disability. We never know when the unfortunate will happen. When it does, your family is going to have to make decisions on your behalf. Planning allows you to be a part of those decisions. One of the best gifts you can give your family is the certainty of a well-planned estate. In the midst of sorrow, don’t leave them with more hassle and chaos.

“It’s just too expensive.”

Trust us, the cost of not having a plan is so much more.  A comprehensive plan for a family can run $1,000 - $1,500. For an individual with modest needs, the cost will be less.

Let’s compare that with the costs of not making a plan. The initial costs associated with a Guardianship can easily run $7,500 to $10,000. Guardianship is the legal process of having someone declared incapacitated so a family member can legally manage their affairs. This process is so expensive because it requires two attorneys, three medical experts, and court costs. Often a guardianship can be avoided with proper planning.

Additionally, many probates can be prevented or reduced with proper planning. Even a simple probate can cost $1,500 or more with more complicated or contested matters costing tens of thousands of dollars.

When you look at the alternatives - how can you afford not to have a plan?

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Katie Floyd Appointed to Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association Board of Directors
The EJCBA Board at their annual retreat on July 21, 2017. Photo by Frank E. Maloney, Jr., Historian

The EJCBA Board at their annual retreat on July 21, 2017. Photo by Frank E. Maloney, Jr., Historian

Katie Floyd was recently named as a member of the Board of Directors to the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association (EJCBA).

The Eighth Judicial Circuit is made up of Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union Counties. There are currently over 400 members of the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association.

The EJBCA serves its members and the community by providing monthly luncheons from September through May for members and guests with a wide variety of speakers from Florida Bar Presidents to local community leaders. The association also holds the annual Jimmy Adkin’s Cedar Key Dinner on the Thursday before the University of Florida Homecoming, a tradition more than 50 years old.

There are numerous other benefits to the membership such as continuing legal education and a monthly newsletter. The EJCBA is also involved in many philanthropic activities in the community.

You can learn more about the Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association by visiting their website at http://www.8jcba.org.

Firm NewsKatie Floyd
Katie Floyd to Moderate "Evernote for Lawyers" for the ABA

Katie Floyd will host a webinar for the American Bar Association on Wednesday, July 26, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET titled “Evernote for Lawyers”.

You’ve likely heard about Evernote, but what can it really do for a law practice: In this program, our esteemed panel will discuss:

  • Evernote’s benefit to lawyers
  • Using Evernote in law practice
  • Essential Evernote features
  • Tips and tricks to get the most out of Evernote

The panel will also feature Heidi S. Alexander, Esq., Director of Practice Management Services for Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers and author of Evernote as aa Law Practice Tool.

For more information, or if you’d like to attend, please visit http://shop.americanbar.org/ebus/ABAEventsCalendar/EventDetails.aspx?productId=273914452&sc_cid=CE1707EVE-FMP to register.

As a reader of this website, you can save 15% using discount code FACMARK at checkout.

Get Ready For Hurricane Season
Hurricane Floyd - Image Courtsey of NOAA

Hurricane Floyd - Image Courtsey of NOAA

June 1 marks the first day of Hurricane Season in Florida. Now is the time to make sure that you and your family are prepared.

Prepare an Emergency Disaster Kit

A disaster emergency kit should include enough supplies to last at least three days. FEMA has prepared a comprehensive emergency supply list, here are a few items that should be included in your kit:

  • Water: at least one gallon per day per person for drinking and sanitation;
  • Food and utensils: foods that are ready to eat and not quickly perishable are ideal;
  • Blankets and extra clothing;
  • A first aid kit, including medical insurance and Medicaid cards;
  • A battery-powered radio and/or a NOAA weather radio;
  • A flashlight with extra batteries;
  • Change of clothing;
  • Extra set of keys;
  • Medical supplies: including prescription medications, an extra pair of glasses, hearing-aid batteries and any other personally needed medical devices;
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items (toilet paper, plastic garbage bags);
  • Cell phone with an extra battery and charger;
  • An emergency contact list: to reach family, friends and emergency numbers;
  • Extra cash: access to banks and ATMs may be limited for a time.

Locate and Secure Your Important Documents

This is a good opportunity locate your important documents and make sure they are stored in a safe and secure location and not at risk of water damage. Documents secure can include:

  • Medical history and medication list
  • Property deeds and/or leases
  • Promissory notes
  • Birth certificates and/or adoption records
  • Court papers
  • Stock certificates
  • Immunization records
  • Passports
  • Social security cards
  • Family heirlooms and photo books
  • Insurance policies
  • Estate Planning documents

Make sure your computer and electronic devices are backed up and the backup hard drives are stored in a secure location where they will not be damaged. You may want to consider backing up your data to a secure cloud service in the event your computer is lost or damaged.

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Talk with your insurance agent to be sure that you have adequate insurance coverage. Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage and may not provide full coverage for other hazards or may have increased deductibles.

Take Special Care for Seniors

Seniors need to take special care when preparing for emergencies. In the case of a hurricane, extended power outages are common. Therefore it’s important to keep special care items such as extra medication, oxygen, and backup batteries to supply power to equipment and refrigeration for medication that requires it.

Prepare For Emergencies Now: Information For Older Americans is a brochure available from FEMA that outlines commonsense measures older Americans can take to start preparing for emergencies before they happen.

When a hurricane strikes or is anticipated, most counties will set up Special Needs Shelters for individuals who require additional assistance. If at all possible, a caregiver should accompany special needs shelter clients to provide additional assistance.

Other Resources

Here are a few other resources that you may find useful in preparing for hurricanes and other natural disasters:

In The NewsKatie Floyd
Katie Floyd Gives “Tech You Can Use” Presentation to the Family Law Section
Katie Floyd, Kyle Lewis and Rick Knellinger

Katie Floyd, Kyle Lewis and Rick Knellinger

Attorney Katie Floyd partnered up with Attorney Richard Knellinger and Kyle Lewis of Knellinger, Jacobson & Associates to give a presentation to the Eighth Judicial Circuit Family Law Section on “Tech You Can Use.”

The presentation focused primarily on technology that can be utilized by the solo and small firm practitioner to enhance productivity. Topics that were covered included mobile scanning apps, PDF converters, virtual receptionists, scheduling tools, conference calling services, text expansion and more. A copy of the presentation is available on Slideshare for viewing.

Katie Floyd is a nationally-recognized speaker on various technology issues and is a frequent lecturer on the use of technology and the practice of law. If you would like Ms. Floyd to consider speaking at your event, you can contact our office for more information.