Estate planning can best be described as a process. When you plan your estate, you take legal steps to make sure that your loved ones are provided for in accordance with your wishes after you are gone.
If you do nothing, and you pass away without an estate plan, the condition of intestacy would be the result. When someone dies intestate, the court takes over, and the assets are distributed in accordance with the intestate succession laws of the state of Florida. Under these circumstances, your own true wishes may never come to fruition, and people that you love could be disinherited.
Important For All Adults
Many people do not think about estate planning at all, but those that do often feel as though they will always have time to put a plan in place when they are elders. In fact, estate planning is a core responsibility of adulthood. Every responsible, self-supporting adult should have an estate plan in place.
This is true if you are a single person, but it is especially true if you are married. Your spouse is depending on you, and you have to make sure that your spouse is provided for come what may. Plus, if you have children, estate planning takes on a whole new level of importance.
Wills and Trusts
Accepting the fact that you should have an estate plan in place is the first step, but there are other steps that invariably follow if you want to be appropriately prepared. There are different ways to get assets into the hands of those that you love, and the optimal choices will depend upon the circumstances.
A last will is a widely utilized estate planning document, but it is not always going to be the best choice. There are limitations and drawbacks that go along with the utilization of a last will as an estate plan centerpiece.
In many cases, a trust of some kind will be a better choice. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to be extraordinarily wealthy to benefit from the creation of a trust.
You should understand all of your options and act in a fully informed manner so you can be certain that everyone that you love will be provided for appropriately after you are gone.
When you plan your estate, you address events that will happen after you pass away. However, there is another level to consider.
End-of-life planning is part of the equation. Many elders become unable to communicate decisions late in their lives, and you can account for this when you include an incapacity planning component within your broader estate plan.
Our Firm Can Help
If you are ready to take action, our firm can help. We offer a free consultation after you attend one of our estate planning seminars. You can call us at (239) 225-7911 or click here to register for an upcoming seminar.