Plan for an Orderly Distribution to Loved Ones

Failing to plan is planning to fail. Estate planning should begin at an early age and never stop

“Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal.” — Cornelius Fichtner</h3

As you survey the property you’ve accumulated through a lifetime of hard work, you may wonder what’s going to happen to it after you’re gone. Maybe there are family heirlooms or other prized possessions or items of sentimental value, and it really matters to you who inherits them. Planning will help you make sure there’s an orderly distribution of your property to your loved ones.

Start planning by taking stock.

Make an inventory of your assets, including personal property and family heirlooms. If you want your bequests to be fairly equal in value, get appraisals of more valuable items.

Think about loved ones.

Are any of your items of great sentimental value to someone? Do you want to share the wealth among your family equally or will some inherit more than others? Maybe you want to leave your spouse the bulk of your estate, but would also like to leave some to close friends and family members as things by which to remember you.

Take a few minutes to think about this before meeting with your estate planning attorney. Depending on the value of the property, you may want to consider setting up a trust, or you may need to consider tax reduction strategies.

Plan, plan, plan.

Discuss your wishes with your attorney. A qualified Florida estate planning lawyer will know how best to structure your plan to satisfy your desires. A good estate plan also means less stress for your family as they settle your estate.

A Case Study of failed planning

Diana, Princess of Wales, signed a Will and a Letter of Wishes several years before her death in 1997. Her estate seemed straightforward and easy to settle as most of her estate went to her sons. Rather than include specific bequests to her 17 godchildren in her Will, she spelled them out in the Letter of Wishes addressed to her executors.

Unfortunately for her godchildren, a court granted a variance of the Will to the executors because some of the language in the Letter of Wishes was incorrect. Instead of receiving the property their godmother wanted them to have, the godchildren ended up with trinkets of little value.

Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A.     Palm City – Stuart, FL

Do you question the need for attorney guidance with so many online resources? Because laws and regulations are complex, and because every person has a lot at risk, more people than ever are seeking professional guidance from an experienced, knowledgeable source. That helps explain the rapid growth of our firm. Whether you happened upon this website by accident or are one of the many referrals we receive from a nearly 15-year collection of satisfied clients, our staff can provide customized estate planning guidance for you. Call us. Our number: 1 (772) 218-0480

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