Estate planning is an essential process that everyone should consider. Due to the uncertainty of tomorrow, it’s important to start planning for the future now.
Unfortunately, many people are under the impression that estate planning is something reserved for the wealthy or those who have many assets.
This simply isn’t true, as everyone needs to have a plan in place to legally distribute their assets after they’re gone. What’s more, estate planning isn’t just for people with children.
Whether you have children or not, you must think about what you want to happen to your pets, personal belongings, money, property, and so on.
So while it’s true that some people will have estate plans that are more complex than others, they all follow the same principle of dispersing property to others.
What’s Included in Estate Planning?
Estate planning isn’t limited to property and money. On the contrary, there is any number of things that can go into your estate plan, such as:
1. Designation of beneficiaries
2. Directions for guardianship
3. Medical power of attorney
4. Transfer of Accounts
5. Power of Attorney
6. Transfer of Deeds
7. Care of a pet
8. Living will
As you can see, what might be in your estate plan reaches far beyond simple personal assets. This is why it’s so important to secure the services of a qualified Estate Planning attorney in Florida.
We encourage you to contact the legal experts at Doane & Doane to guide you through the estate planning process. Our experienced Estate Planning attorney team will provide you with comprehensive legal representation and ensure that your wishes are honored.
Read on to learn more about how to begin the estate planning process in Florida.
Understanding Probate in Florida
If you fail to establish a will or trust before you pass away, you will be what is called “intestate.” When this happens, the future of your belongings and assets is determined by Florida law.
This process is known as probate. The state of Florida enters the probate process and distributes your assets in compliance with state law. In order to prevent this from happening, you need to take steps to begin the estate planning process.
Compile Your Assets and Debts
To begin, make a list of everything you own and everything you owe. Included with your personal inventory should be copies of essential documents that reflect your assets and debts.
Establish a Backup Plan
Estate plans let you determine what happens to your assets in the event that you pass away. Yet it can also serve to establish what happens in the event that you become incapacitated for a time. As such, those you name would be able to act on your behalf without having to go through a court of law.
Therefore, it’s important to secure a backup plan outside of death. If you are hospitalized or ill for any reason and you can’t address your responsibilities, a loved one can do so for you.
Include Child/Dependent Care
One of the main reasons people secure estate plans is to ensure the care and protection of children and dependents. As such, you want to make sure that there are provisions in place that detail their care. Moreover, you’ll want to provide details about anyone you remarry to ensure that your assets don’t automatically go to someone outside of your wishes.
Detail Your Wishes
You might have unique wishes that you want to detail in full for after you pass away. It is therefore important to write out these wishes as comprehensively as possible to ensure that nothing is overlooked or neglected.
This can be the manner in which you want things to go should you become incapacitated or ill. As long as your wishes don’t break the law, you can make sure that they are honored accordingly.
By working closely with an estate planning attorney, you can be sure that you follow the correct course of action to make your estate plan happen as you wish. Moreover, your estate planning attorney will help you appoint fiduciaries, make arrangements, and detail all other aspects of your estate plan as needed.
Contact Doane & Doane Today for Assistance
Doane & Doane was founded in 2003 and continues to serve Southeast Florida residents and businesses through qualified legal counsel. In fact, Doane & Doane is one of the area’s most trusted and respected tax and estate planning firms. If you need assistance with estate planning or any other related issues, we encourage you to contact us at 561-656-0200. Alternatively, you can always fill out our online contact form, and we will promptly respond to your inquiry.
The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.