St. Petersburg, Florida Wills and Estates Lawyers

The four essential estate planning documents

All individuals owe their family the basic and essential documents necessary to assist in the event of death or serious injury.  Our estate lawyers guide and assist you in business and estate planning, with an eye towards asset preservation.  At The Law Office of Cox & Sanchez, our attorneys recommend a minimum of four basic documents in preparing your estate:

  • Will
  • Living will
  • Durable power of attorney
  • Healthcare surrogate

Our estate planning lawyers work with you to prepare these documents so that you and your family will be properly taken care of.


A will is simply a written legal document that specifies your wishes for how you want your estate to be handled when you die:

  • How your property and assets will be distributed
  • Who you want to be appointed as guardian for any minor children
  • Who you want to be appointed the personal representative (executor)
  • Who you want to manage any trusts that you may have

If you have a spouse and/or children and you die without a will, the State of Florida determines the distribution of your Florida estate.

  • If there is no spouse or children, your estate will go to other relatives, again using the state’s guidelines.
  • If there are no relatives, the State can claim your estate.

Work with Cox & Sanchez to draft a will so you can be confident in how your property and assets will be distributed.

A living will is a legal document that a person uses to make known his or her wishes regarding life-prolonging medical treatments. It is also known by other names:

  • Advance directive
  • Health care directive
  • Physician’s directive

A living will is important because it informs your health care providers and your family about your desires for medical treatment in the event you are not able to speak for yourself. A Cox & Sanchez lawyer helps you document your wishes for each potential scenario.

With a power of attorney, you may delegate legal authority to another person. In anticipation of the need for another person to represent your interest, you may grant decision-making powers regarding general or specific issues:

  • Property
  • Ordinary finances
  • Investments
  • Legal matters

At Cox & Sanchez, our lawyers may recommend that you use a durable power of attorney as an alternative to a guardianship.

A competent adult may appoint a healthcare surrogate to make all healthcare decisions during any period of incapacity. The healthcare surrogate has specific duties:

  • Understand the wishes of the individual
  • Consult with healthcare providers during periods of incapacity
  • Make the decisions that the individual would have made for her/himself

Our lawyers help you fully understand the legal obligations of a healthcare surrogate.

Florida offers additional methods of preparing your estate, which may be used to help your family avoid probate costs:

  • Trusts
  • Enhanced life estate deed (lady bird deed)
  • Family limited partnership

The estate lawyers at Cox & Sanchez advise you about the benefits of these additional estate planning documents.


Trust the Florida estate planning lawyers of Cox & Sanchez

For a free phone consultation about your estate law needs, contact The Law Office of Cox & Sanchez by calling 727-896-2691 today.

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