Wills and Other Estate Planning Documents

estate planning documents

There are several documents that should be  considered for every estate plan.  These estate planning documents are a will, living will, health care surrogate, durable power of attorney, and a pre-need guardian designation.  Each are described in more detail below.




In Florida, a will is an estate planning document executed by a person in the manner that disposes of the person’s property on or after his or her death.  The document must appoint a personal representative, and can revoke or revise another will.  For more information on the requirements of a Florida Will, please see the blog on Basic Requirements for a Florida Will.


A Living Will is a document specifying directions as to use of life-prolonging procedures.  A Living Will advises your family as to your specific wishes as to life-prolonging procedures when you are unable to make this decision, and spares your family from having to make these difficult decisions.


A Healthcare Surrogate Designation is a document that  designates a person to make health care decisions for you when you may not be able to do so.  This appointment should include the power to decide when to withdraw medical procedures.


A Durable Power of Attorney is a document that can assist in the handling of property of a person who has become incapacitated without having to go through a guardianship proceeding in court. A guardianship proceeding can be time consuming and expensive.  Having a Durable Power of Attorney will allow the person appointed the power of attorney to pay the bills and protecting the assets of the incapacitated person.


A Pre-Need Guardian Designation designates a person that is appointed as guardian over you should you become incapacitated.  The designation can also appoint a guardian  for your children should you become incapacitated, or upon your death.  If you fail to designate a guardian and become incapacitated, a Court will do so for you if an when it becomes necessary.

If you are considering preparing an estate plan, please contact De Varona Law for a free initial consultation.  De Varona Law serves Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin Counties.