What You Need to Know About Florida Estate Planning

What You Need to Know About Florida Estate Planning

Scott Dylan Westerlund
Scott Dylan Westerlund
 | 

Tomorrow is never promised, and the future couldn’t be more uncertain than in 2021. Whether you’re planning to retire, have children, or just want to secure your future, there’s no time better than the present to get informed about Florida estate planning.

What is an Estate Plan, and Why Do I Need One?

So, what exactly is an estate plan? Estate planning is the process of creating a legal plan that outlines your wishes in the event you pass away. If you suddenly pass away in Florida without an estate plan, intestate succession laws will automatically come into play. That means your closest relatives will get your assets, but you and your relatives won’t have any say on how those assets get divided up.

Intestate succession laws don’t cover all your assets, though. For example, your life insurance proceeds, IRA accounts, and 401(k) won’t automatically pass on. Instead, they’ll go to the person you named as a beneficiary.

Sometimes, these intestate succession laws are the perfect arrangement after you pass. At other times, passing away without a will could cause your surviving family members a lot of stress, paranoia, and confusion. An estate plan can mitigate all of this by making your wishes clear, apparent, and legally binding before you pass away.

Estate planning isn’t just for older adults. An estate plan is beneficial for parents, married individuals, and people who own significant amounts of debts or assets.

What Does an Estate Plan Include in Florida?

Basic estate planning involves preparing several different documents. Due to the complex nature of dividing up your property and assets after you pass, you’ll want to ensure every aspect is taken care of. That means you’ll want to complete documents like a will, trust, power of attorney, a designation of beneficiaries, and more!

A will helps ensure that your property and assets get passed on to the person (or people) you want to have them. This document can also help ensure your minor children are in the charge of someone you trust and love. You can also mention pets, debt payments, and an executor to handle your will, too.

Trusts are set up to help manage your property or assets for your beneficiary after you pass. A power of attorney ensures that your loved one will have the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

Estate planning can also be useful if you experience a situation where you can’t make decisions for yourself. For example, if you suddenly experienced prolonged unconsciousness due to COVID-19, would your loved ones know your wishes? Completing documents like a medical power of attorney will help ensure your wishes are upheld even if you’re unable to voice them.

Florida Estate Planning: Steps to Take Today

Clearly, estate planning is complicated and involves several moving parts. Instead of feeling overwhelmed about the process, take your planning goals one step at a time. Here are a few steps to help you get started on the process:

 
• Determine and list out your estate goals
• Create a comprehensive list of your assets
• Create another list of individuals you’d want to protect after your pass
• Collect the necessary documentation
• Fill out and return all your estate planning documents
• Review and update your estate plan each year

Take these steps one at a time, and you’ll be finished with your estate planning in no time. Once you have, you and your loved ones will feel more secure.

Do You Need a Lawyer for Estate Planning in Florida?

In 2021, you can find almost everything you need online. Florida estate planning documents are no different. You can find most of the documents you’ll need on the web, but you need to ensure you follow the proper steps to legalize each form. For example, you may need to have your document signed in front of a notary. In the case of a will, you’ll need to have two witnesses.

If you don’t have the time to research every aspect of estate planning law, then it’s beneficial to hire an attorney to help. Estate planning lawyers can help ensure that you have all the forms you need and that they’re legally binding once completed.

Are you looking for a Florida estate planning attorney to help you feel secure about the future? Let us help you meet your goals. Head over to our lawyer search now to find an expert in your area.

 

This article is intended to convey generally useful information only and does not constitute legal advice. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the author, not LawChamps.

Scott Dylan Westerlund

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