Florida state law requires that upon a person’s passing, their property and assets become reassigned to new legal owners. With proper estate planning, especially for the elderly, your interests are protected to make sure that your loved ones are taken care of after you pass.
Estate planning also provides security in knowing that state, federal, and estate taxes are reduced. If your estate plan is missing a valid will, your divided assets will be subject to Florida Probate court. Florida Probate court can take up to a year and is expensive! We must avoid probate court.
In Florida, the documents needed for estate planning are a will, durable power of attorney, health care surrogate, and a trust to avoid probate. Each of these documents plays a different role in protecting your estate and should be handled with care by an expert.
When is the Best Time to Start Planning My Estate?
There’s no time like the present! The state of Florida has no age requirement for estate planning, so you are encouraged to begin the process as soon as you feel ready to do so. Unfortunately, we are unable to accurately foresee how long our lives will be, since illness and unexpected circumstances can happen to anyone, at any time.
Step one of the process is to index all of your assets: accounts, investments, real estate, insurance, business assets, and anything else you possess that is of value. It is useful to consider beforehand the goals you hope to accomplish with your assets, and who should acquire them when you pass away.
Estate Planning Isn’t Just for the “Wealthy”
While people with assets of high value do tend to consider what happens to their wealth more diligently than people with modest investments, the latter actually may have more to lose. In essence, people with modest assets may not bounce back as easily from a bad investment and would be wise to contemplate building an estate plan for added security.