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May 16, 2003     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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May 16, 2003
 

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PAGE 8B FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 16, Will 101 you need to know but don't want to think a (ARA)--You know you estate plan. "Every family the state decides what hap- into a living trust before you should have a will. You may should have an estate plan to pens to their property. You die doesn't go through pro- think about it from time to protect assets like a home, in- can make the process much bate. Instead, the trustee you time, and maybe you've even suranceproceeds, familyheir- easier on your family by put- have appointed merely trans- put it on your"to-do" list. But loomsandmore,'saysMichael ting your intentions in writ- fers ownership to the benefi- if you're like most people, W Halloran, a director with ing, either in a basic will or a ciaries you named in the trust you've never actually gotten the National Association of will plus a living trust. A will If privacy is a big concern around to having a will drawn Estate Planners and Councils. can specify who gets what af- for you, living trusts also offer up. Estate planning profes- Another reason people teryoudie,whilealivingtrust theadvantageofbeingshielded sionals estimate that a whop- never get around to drawing can also help you avoid pro- from public disclosure While ping 70 percent of Americans up awill is the belief that they bate, reduce estate taxesor set a will becomes a matter of don't have a will. don't have enough assets to up long-term property man- public record, the terms of a There are many reasons need one."People mistakenly agement. Both are part of a livingtrustarenotrequiredto peopleputoffestateplanning, think that only the wealthy good estate plan. be made public. One reason is simply that no need estate planning," says The average probate can go Even if you establish a liv- one likes to think about their Halloran."Buteveryoneneeds on for months before the ben- ing trust, you'll still want to own mortality. But the truth a will, unless they are happy eficiaries get anything. Not to have a will as well. If you don't is, there is no way to avoid the with the one the state has pro- mention that probate eats into have a will, any property that fact that you won't be able to vided for them." their inheritance, since isn't included in your trust dictate how your assets are Halloran is referring to the lawyer's fees and other court will go to your relatives in an divided up from beyond the fact that if an individual dies costswill be takenout of your orderdeterminedbystatelaw, grave - unless you have an without a will, or"intestate," assets Property transferred andthismay not be the distri- butionyouwouldhavewanted, plan should allow you tog For example, state law usu- what you want to ally does not recognize the want to receive it, thewaYY different needs of your chil- want them to receive dren nor their stage in life. when you want them to Most families have children ceive it. Your estate with unequal needs, capabili- should save every tax ties and requirements for care professional fee and court based on their age, health, legally possible. Use education and other factors tater For example, if you have mi- work the way you want. nor or disabled children, do For more information you want the probate judge the NAEPC, or to find an appointing their guardian? credited Estate Planner Exonerated March 30 - April 4, 2004 2004 mr. an utr April 27 - May 2, 2004 , WINNER! 2001 TONI AWJtRO FOR "BEST SPECIAL THEATRICAL EVENT" October 21 - 26, 2003 h4P o Itmayallsoundoverwhelm- you, visit ingatfirst, buttherearemany call NAEPC toll-free at professionals trained and 226-2224 for qualified to help you make EDITOR'S yourestateplanningeffective. NAEPC is a national Checkwith your state or local zation of bar association for a local Cer- planners tified Estate Planning attor- planning councils ney, or try the state CPA asso- establishing and ciation.TheNationalAssocia- the h~ tion of Estate Planners and educational Councils offers a list of mem- NAEPC otters public hers who have earned the spe- ness of the cial designation AEP. Estate planning is appro- meet these priate for any stage of life - if builds a team you don't prepare for the in- volvin( evitable, you may create need- ciplines to better less heartache and loss for public's need in those left behind Your estate ning. Tips from Lighthouse In- LighthouseInternati ternational for older drivers vises all older with vision problems, regulareye check-t Theabilitytodriveacarand tain eye get around independently is thattheirabilityto( essential for millionsofadults is not com across the country, tected vision loss. While driving safely is a key The following concern of anyone traveling tips for older in a car, changes in the aging sion problems are IJ eyemakeitanespecially"driv- established body ing" matter for older people, and on original Everyone experiences some ducted by vision changes due to normal don Research aging; these include difficulty Lighthouse Interna focusing on near tasks like If you are 60years reading, difficulty distinguish- over, know that ing colors and contrast, and ingwith only the need for more light. What's of the light you more, as Americans are living were 20 years longer, increasingnumbersof to changes people are affected by more the eye,ofwhic severe vision problems due to ally unaware conditions such as macular Also keep in no degeneration and glaucoma, an older driver, Higgins, Ph.D vice i~c1 Kent president for Vision Science, See "Vision" on