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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to Florida Document Specialists: Estate Planning Documents Simplified

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Welcome! You’ve just discovered your resource for straightforward, cost-effective estate planning solutions in Florida. We’re not lawyers, but our dedicated team specializes in crafting high-quality documents tailored to your needs.

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We’ve organized the basics for you in an easy-to-navigate format. Learn about the ins and outs of various estate planning documents, and discover how each can help you protect your future and peace of mind.

Streamlined Document Execution: The How-To

We go beyond mere document preparation. From optional online notarization to eRecording services for deeds, we offer a suite of services that make the entire execution process seamless and convenient for you.

Customize Your Documents, Your Way

Our intuitive questionnaires allow you to provide the details we need to customize your documents. You’ll have a chance to review and tweak them before finalization, ensuring they align perfectly with your intentions.

Explore, Choose, and Secure

Take your time exploring our individual offerings and bundled packages. With Florida Document Specialists, you’re one step closer to securing a future that reflects your wishes, on your terms.

Explore Estate Planning Documents

In this section, you’ll find tabs that break down the key elements of various estate planning documents. From Advanced Healthcare Directives to Electronic Wills, get the insights you need to make informed decisions.

After you’re familiar with the different documents, take a look at our range of services and packages. We offer both individual and bundled options tailored to your needs. Navigate through these tabs to find out how Florida Document Specialists can help you prepare for whatever comes next.  To learn more, visit our page on Florida Electronic Wills.

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A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that outlines your wishes regarding the distribution of your assets and the care of any minor children in the event of your death. This vital document serves as a roadmap for the courts and your loved ones, ensuring that your estate is managed and disbursed according to your wishes.

Benefits of a Last Will and Testament:

  1. Asset Distribution: A will allows you to specify who will inherit your assets, from real estate and financial accounts to personal belongings like jewelry and mementos.

  2. Child Guardianship: If you have minor children, a will enables you to nominate a guardian to care for them if you and the other parent are unable to do so.

  3. Estate Executor: You can name an executor in your will, granting them the legal authority to manage your estate, including paying off debts and distributing assets as per your instructions.

  4. Avoids Intestacy Laws: Dying without a will, known as dying “intestate,” means your estate will be distributed according to state laws, which may not align with your personal wishes.

  5. Tax Planning: With a well-crafted will, you can employ various strategies to minimize the tax burden on your heirs, allowing them to inherit more of your hard-earned assets.

  6. Conditional Bequests: A will enables you to make conditional gifts, such as disbursing funds to a beneficiary only when they reach a certain age or milestone.

  7. Disinheritance: Conversely, you can use your will to explicitly exclude individuals who would otherwise inherit your estate under state law.

  8. Streamlined Probate: Having a will generally simplifies the probate process, making it easier for your executor and heirs to settle your estate.

  9. Peace of Mind: Knowing that you’ve made preparations for your loved ones and that your wishes will be honored can offer significant peace of mind.

  10. Easily Amendable: As long as you are mentally competent, you can update or modify your will at any time to address changes in your life, assets, or family situation.

By incorporating a Last Will and Testament into your estate planning toolkit, you gain control over the future allocation of your assets and the welfare of your loved ones. This proactive step is essential for comprehensive estate planning and provides invaluable peace of mind for you and your family.

A Florida Electronic Will is a legal document that is executed, witnessed, and notarized entirely online, conforming to the specific regulations outlined by the Florida Electronic Wills Act. While these wills are stored securely online for easy access, they carry the same legal validity as traditional paper wills. Florida Document Specialists is a Qualified Custodian of Electronic Wills under Florida Statute, ensuring that your will complies with all state requirements.

Benefits of a Florida Electronic Will:

  1. Convenience: Eliminate the need for physical paperwork and in-person visits. Create, sign, and store your will online, offering unmatched ease and accessibility.

  2. Accessibility: Your will is stored securely online, so you can review it whenever needed, providing you greater control over your estate planning.

  3. Speed: The online process is streamlined and efficient, offering you a faster pathway to peace of mind.

  4. Security: With advanced encryption technologies and specially trained notaries, your electronic will is both secure and compliant with Florida law.

  5. Lifetime Custodian Service: Florida Document Specialists serves as a Qualified Custodian of Electronic Wills, ensuring long-term compliance and secure storage of your important documents.

  6. Streamlined Execution: Our specially trained notaries oversee the online notarization process, guaranteeing that your electronic will is executed in compliance with Florida law.

  7. Special Bundle Discounts: To offset the costs associated with designating a Qualified Custodian, we offer special discounts when you bundle other important estate planning documents with your electronic will.

  8. Discounts for Couples: Married couples can take advantage of deep discounts, making it cost-effective for both partners to secure their future.

  9. Alignment with Modern Life: As digital solutions continue to shape our lives, an electronic will is a modern and efficient component of a comprehensive estate planning strategy.

A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants someone you trust the authority to make decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions for yourself. Unlike a standard Power of Attorney, which becomes void if you lose mental competence, a Durable Power of Attorney remains in effect, ensuring that your chosen representative can continue to act on your behalf.

Benefits of a Durable Power of Attorney:

  1. Continuity of Decision-Making: Should you become incapacitated due to illness, injury, or any other reason, your designated agent can immediately step in to manage your affairs without any legal delays.

  2. Flexibility: You can specify what kinds of decisions your agent is allowed to make, whether it’s managing your financial portfolio, making healthcare decisions, or even running your daily errands.

  3. Avoids Court Intervention: Without a Durable Power of Attorney, your family may need to go through a lengthy and costly court process to appoint a guardian or conservator. Having this document in place eliminates that need.

  4. Peace of Mind: Knowing that someone you trust is authorized to make important decisions for you can provide enormous peace of mind for you and your family.

  5. Revocable: If your circumstances change, you can easily update or revoke your Durable Power of Attorney, as long as you are mentally competent to do so.

  6. Comprehensive: You can choose to make your Durable Power of Attorney as broad or as limited as you wish. For example, you could give your agent the power to do everything from selling your property to choosing a nursing home for you.

  7. Spousal Protection: For married couples, having a Durable Power of Attorney for each spouse ensures that either can act in the other’s best interests without any legal hindrance, providing an extra layer of protection and convenience.

By incorporating a Durable Power of Attorney into your estate planning, you’re not just planning for the uncertainties of life; you’re also giving yourself and your loved ones the gift of preparedness and peace of mind. Our blog on the subject our our power of attorney page can provide additional information.

Imagine an Advanced Directive as your personal healthcare roadmap. Always inclusive of a Living Will, this important document ensures that your healthcare preferences are known and honored even when you’re unable to express them yourself.

Benefits of a Florida Advanced Directive:

  1. Your Choices, Your Way: With an Advanced Directive, you essentially set the guidelines for your healthcare, ensuring that treatments align with your wishes.

  2. Clarity for Medical Teams: No guesswork here. Your healthcare providers will have a clear understanding of your preferences, helping them focus on your specific needs.

  3. Easing Family Decisions: An Advanced Directive can take the weight off your loved ones’ shoulders, providing a guide for them to follow if decisions need to be made.

  4. Streamlined Care: Having a set plan helps medical staff act swiftly and confidently, minimizing delays in your treatment.

  5. Guidance You Can Trust: At Florida Document Specialists, we aim to make your document as accurate as possible, following all the guidelines set forth by Florida law.

  6. Easy to Access: While not stored online, your Advanced Directive is a physical document that you can keep in a safe but accessible spot.

  7. Discounted Bundles: We offer the option to bundle your Advanced Directive with other helpful estate planning documents, providing a more complete package.

  8. Savings for Couples: We think planning for the future should be accessible for everyone, including couples. That’s why we offer special discounts for married folks.

  9. We’re Here to Help: We offer straightforward assistance in preparing your Advanced Directive, so it meets the basic criteria set by the state.

  10. Flexibility for Changes: Life is full of changes, and we provide discounted rates for any revisions you might need down the road.

Creating an Advanced Directive might sound serious, but it’s really a way to bring peace of mind to you and your family. It’s like a backstage pass to healthcare peace of mind, ensuring your choices take center stage even when you can’t communicate them.

The Lady Bird Deed, also known as a Florida Enhanced Life Estate Deed, is a specialized life estate deed designed to seamlessly transfer property ownership upon the death of the owner(s) without the need for probate. This deed is popular because it ensures peace of mind and helps alleviate stress on loved ones during challenging times.

Moreover, executing an enhanced life estate deed does not compromise the owner’s control over their property during their lifetime. The owner(s) can still sell or mortgage the property without involving the remainder beneficiaries. This “retained control” implies that your remainder beneficiaries hold no decision-making power over your property while you are alive. Property owners can freely alter their remainder beneficiaries and record a new Lady Bird Deed without the current beneficiaries’ consent.

Advantages of a HIPPA Waiver

A HIPAA Waiver, properly drafted and notarized, cuts through this. It grants permission for designated individuals to have access to your medical records and to speak freely with your healthcare providers. This document takes the handcuffs off communication and puts you back in control.

Imagine this: You’re in an emergency medical situation, or maybe you’re juggling appointments with multiple healthcare providers. The last thing you want is to hit a wall of silence where your close family members or friends can’t access crucial medical information or consult with your doctors. Trust us, HIPAA’s privacy rules mean well, but they can turn simple conversations into red tape nightmares.

Due to HIPAA regulations, healthcare providers are severely restricted in sharing your medical information—even with people you’d want in the loop! It can be agonizingly frustrating for both you and your loved ones in already stressful situations. “Sorry, we can’t disclose any information” becomes an exasperating refrain that you don’t want to hear when seconds count or when you’re trying to coordinate medical care.

Tailored Solutions for Your Estate Planning and Notarization Needs

Pick the Plan that Fits You Best:

  • A La Carte – Customized Document Selection

    Pick only the documents that align with your needs. Add on our remote online notarization feature for added convenience. Your personal document technician will guide you through every step to ensure complete satisfaction.

  • Customized Estate Planning Solutions with Multiple Delivery and Savings Options

    Work with our specialists to tailor a comprehensive package of traditional estate planning documents to meet your unique needs. Opt for hassle-free at-home printing through email delivery or receive a set of laser-printed documents ready to sign, delivered straight to your doorstep. Take advantage of our special savings options available exclusively for married couples. In addition, streamline your estate planning experience through digital signatures and remote online notarization, all from the comfort of your own home. Married couples can further benefit by enjoying a 50% discount on a second set of documents.

  • Electronic Will Suite

    Looking to complete your will online? Utilize Florida's Electronic Wills Act to not only draft but also execute your will digitally, along with any other essential estate planning documents. Our seamless process takes the guesswork out of digital estate planning.

Bundle for Unbeatable Discounts - 35%-50% Off

Estate Planning Bundle #1

Personalized Preparation of Common Estate Planning Documents
$ 371
$571 Value - Save 35%
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Advance Directive (Living Will & Designation of Healthcare Surrogate)
  • Enhanced Life Estate Deed (Lady Bird Deed)
  • HIPPA Waiver
  • 50% Discount on a Spouse's Documents - $582.15 Total

Estate Planning Bundle #2

Prepare Estate Planning Documents, Online Notariation, eRecording
$ 554
$821 Value - Save 35%
  • Last Will and Testament (Traditional Paper Will - Cannot Be Notarized Online)
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Advance Directive (Living Will & Designation of Healthcare Surrogate)
  • HIPPA Waiver
  • Enhanced Life Estate Deed (Lady Bird Deed)
  • Includes Online Notarization Services with Required Witnesses
  • eRecording of Lady Bird Deed Included
  • Government Recording Fees (Lady Bird Deed) Included
  • 50% Discount on Spouse's Documents and Online Notarization - $817.65 Total

Estate Planning Bundle #3

Personalized Preparation of Common Estate Planning Documents
$ 274
$422 Value - 35% Discount
  • Last Will and Testament
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Advance Directive (Living Will & Designation of Healthcare Surrogate)
  • HIPPA Waiver
  • 50% Discount for Adding a Spouse - $411.45 Total

Estate Planning Bundle #4

Preparation of Common Estate Planning Documents with Online Notarization
$ 349
$537 Value - Save 35%
  • Last Will and Testament (Cannot be Notarized Online)
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Advance Directive (Living Will & Designation of Healthcare Surrogate)
  • HIPPA Waiver
  • Includes Online Notarization and Required Witnesses
  • 50% Discount on Spouse's Documents - $597.55 Total

Estate Planning Documents A La Carte: Choose Just What You Need

Last Will and Testament

Nonlawyer Drafting of your Last WIll
$ 149
  • Tailored to Your Needs
  • Protect Your Loved Ones
  • Save Time and Money
  • Free Laser Printed Copy by First Class Mail

Durable Power of Attorney

Nonlawyer Preparation of Your Florida Durable Power of Attorney
$ 125
  • Valid Even if You Become Incapacitated
  • You Choose Which Powers to Give
  • Ensure Your Wishes are Followed
  • Optional Online Notarization Available

Florida Advance Directive

Living Will & Designation of Healthcare Surrogate
$ 99
  • Plan for a Future of Peace and Security
  • Maintain Control Over Medical Treatment
  • Reduce Stress for Your Loved Ones
  • Three Laser Printed Copies Delivered by Mail

Enhanced Life Estate Deed (Lady Bird)

Nonlawyer Drafting and Customization of Your Deed
$ 149
  • Avoid the Probate of Your Home
  • Optional Online Notarization Available
  • Optional eRecording Available

HIPPA Waiver

Take Contol of Who Can Access Your Healthcare Information
$ 49
  • Streamline Healthcare Decision Making
  • Facilitate Communications
  • Reduce Stress for Loved Ones
  • Three Laser Printed Copies Delivered by Mail

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

  • What is estate planning?

    Estate planning is the process of arranging and managing your assets, finances, and healthcare directives to ensure that your wishes are carried out during your lifetime and after your death.  An important part of estate planning is to have the most common estate planning documents properly executed and in place, such as a last will (or an Electronic Last Will), durable power of attorney, living will, designation of healthcare surrogate, HIPPA waiver, and in some cases, a Lady Bird Deed (Enhanced Life Estate Deed)

  • Why is estate planning important?

    Estate planning is essential for protecting your assets, ensuring your family's financial security, minimizing taxes, and avoiding disputes among your heirs. It provides a clear roadmap for your loved ones, ensuring your wishes are respected.

  • When should I start estate planning?

    It's never too early to start estate planning. As soon as you have assets, a family, or dependents, you should consider putting an estate plan in place to protect your loved ones and your assets.

  • What are the key estate planning documents?

    The key estate planning documents include a Last Will and Testament (or Florida Electronic Will), Living Will, Advance Directive, Durable Power of Attorney, and an optional Florida Lady Bird Deed (Enhanced Life Estate Deed).

    It is also important to update your beneficiary designations on your bank accounts, investment accounts, and insurance policies.  If you fail to do this, those assets will go to probate.

  • Can I create my own estate planning documents?

    While it is possible to create your own simple estate planning documents, it's generally recommended to work with an experienced estate planning attorney complex estates or documents (like a Trust) to ensure that your documents are legally valid and accurately reflect your intentions.

  • How often should I update my estate plan?

    You should review and update your estate plan every few years or whenever there are significant changes in your life, such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, the death of a beneficiary, or a substantial increase in assets.

  • Can I change my estate planning documents?

    Yes, you can change your estate planning documents at any time, as long as you are mentally competent. It is essential to update your documents to reflect your current wishes and life circumstances.

  • What is a Last Will and Testament?

    A Last Will and Testament is a legal document that outlines how you want your assets to be distributed upon your death and appoints an executor to manage your estate.

    In Florida, you can also opt for an electronic will.


  • What happens if I die without a Will?

    If you die without a Will, your estate will be distributed according to your state's intestacy laws. This may not align with your wishes and could lead to disputes among your heirs.

    People often think that having a will avoids probate.  It does not.

    People wishing to avoid probate often use such instruments as a Trust or Lady Bird Deed.  It's also important to update beneficiary designations on accounts and insurance policies.


  • How does a Last Will and Testament work?

    When you pass away, the executor (personal representative) of your Will is responsible for managing your estate, paying off debts, and distributing your assets according to your wishes.

    If your Florida estate qualifies, your estate can be probated through an abbreviated form of probate called a Summary Administration.  This can usually be accomplished without an attorney.

  • Why is a Last Will and Testament important?

    A Will ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes, rather than by state law. It can also help to avoid disputes among family members and minimize estate taxes.

    Benefits of an Electronic Will:

    The following is an overview of creating and executing a will online, including some potential benefits and limitations to consider.  A last will signed and witnessed online is called a Florida Electronic Will.

    One significant advantage of creating a will online is the convenience factor. By using an online service, you can complete the process from the comfort of your own home, without needing to find a traditional notary public or witnesses. Additionally, many businesses that offer notary services, such as UPS, AMSCOT, or your bank, may not notarize wills, making online options more accessible.

    Another potential benefit of online wills is the video recording of the will execution process. This video can serve as evidence of your intentions if anyone ever contests your will’s validity.

    Additionally, online wills may eliminate the risk of losing your will. Most online services provide a certified paper copy, but they also store an electronic version of your will in secure backup systems, ensuring you always have access to a copy.

    Finally, creating a will online may be a safer option during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it allows you to complete the process without leaving your home.

    It’s important to keep in mind that laws around electronic wills and their validity can vary by location, so it’s essential to ensure that any online service you use is compliant with the laws in your area. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to seek legal advice when creating a will to ensure that your wishes are properly documented and executed.


  • What factors should I consider when choosing a personal representative or trustee?

    When choosing an executor (persnal represtative) or trustee, consider factors such as trustworthiness, financial and legal knowledge, organizational skills, and the willingness to take on the responsibilities involved.

  • What are the differences between a Will and a Trust?

    A Will outlines how your assets will be distributed upon your death, while a Trust is a legal entity that holds and manages your assets during your lifetime and distributes them after your death. A Trust can provide more control over asset distribution and often avoids the probate process.

    A Trust is a complex document that should only be prepared by a qualified attorney.

  • What is a Living Will?

    A Living Will is a document that outlines your medical treatment preferences in case you become incapacitated and unable to communicate your wishes.

    How does a Living Will work?

    If you become incapacitated, your Living Will provides guidance to healthcare providers and family members about your preferences for medical treatment, including life-sustaining measures.

    An “Advance Directive” in Florida is a two-part document that combines a Living Will and a Designation of Healthcare Surrogate.

    Why is a Living Will important?

    A Living Will ensures that your healthcare preferences are known and followed, relieving your loved ones from making difficult decisions on your behalf.

  • What is an Advance Directive?

    An Advance Directive is a combination of a Living Will and a Designation of Healthcare Surrogate form, which outlines your medical treatment preferences and designates a person to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.

    How does an Advance Directive work?

    An Advance Directive provides guidance on your medical treatment preferences and designates a trusted person to make healthcare decisions for you if you become unable to do so.

    Why is an Advance Directive important?

    An Advance Directive ensures that your healthcare wishes are respected and that a trusted person is in charge of making decisions on your behalf, reducing confusion and potential conflicts among family members.

  • What is a Designation of Healthcare Surrogate form?

    A Designation of Healthcare Surrogate form is a document that appoints a trusted person to make healthcare decisions for you if you become unable to do so yourself.

  • What is a Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA)?

    A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that grants someone the authority to act on your behalf regarding financial and legal matters if you become incapacitated.

    How does a Durable Power of Attorney work?

    A DPOA becomes effective when you sign it and remains in effect if you become incapacitated, allowing your designated agent to manage your financial affairs.

    Why is a Durable Power of Attorney important?

    A DPOA ensures that your financial affairs are managed by a trusted person if you become unable to do so, preventing potential financial hardships and disputes.

  • What is a Beneficiary Designation?

    A Beneficiary Designation is part of a bank account, investment account, insurance policy, etc., that specifies who will receive the proceeds of a specific asset, such as life insurance policies, retirement accounts, or bank accounts, upon your death.

    How do Beneficiary Designations work?

    Upon your death, the assets with designated beneficiaries will be distributed directly to those individuals, bypassing probate.

    Why are Beneficiary Designations important?

    Beneficiary Designations ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and avoid the time-consuming and expensive probate process.

  • Can I have multiple beneficiaries?

    Yes, you can have multiple beneficiaries for your estate, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and other assets. You can designate primary beneficiaries and contingent beneficiaries in case the primary beneficiaries predecease you or are unable to inherit the assets.

  • What is probate?

    Probate is a legal process that is overseen by the circuit court and aims to identify the debts of a deceased person while distributing their assets to either creditors or beneficiaries of their estate.

    Florida Summary Administration, on the other hand, is a simplified version of probate that requires less time and effort than formal administration. Unlike formal administration, no personal representative (PR) is appointed by the court in summary administration.

  • How can I avoid probate?

    People often avoid probate by using beneficiary designations, creating a Trust, or by recording an Enhanced Life Esate Deed (Lady Bird Deed).

  • How do I communicate my estate plan to my loved ones?

    Discuss your estate plan with your loved ones, ensuring they understand your wishes and know where to find your important documents. Providing a copy of your estate planning documents to your executor, trustee, or attorney is also advisable.

  • What is the difference between an Advance Directive and a Living Will?

    An Advance Directive is a broader document that includes a Living Will and a Designation of Healthcare Surrogate form. A Living Will only addresses your medical treatment preferences, while an Advance Directive also designates a person to make healthcare decisions on your behalf.

  • How does a Designation of Healthcare Surrogate form work?

    If you become incapacitated, your designated healthcare surrogate will have the authority to make healthcare decisions on your behalf, based on your expressed wishes in your Advance Directive.

  • What is the process of distributing assets after death?

    After your death, your executor or trustee will gather your assets, pay your debts and taxes, and distribute your remaining assets according to your Will or Trust. If there are beneficiary designations, those assets will bypass the probate process and be distributed directly to the beneficiaries.