Estate Planning: It’s Never Too Early to Begin

Most people assume that estate planning can be put off until they reach middle age. While it’s true that older individuals will be concerned about how a lifetime of assets should be distributed, there are good reasons to start the process when you are much younger.

Every adult should have a living will, which is also known as an advance directive. This document details your wishes regarding medical treatment under conditions that don’t allow you to give informed consent. (Examples include a coma or debilitating head injury.) No one likes to think about such scenarios coming to pass, but that’s no reason to avoid preparing.

Estate planning is especially important when you have children. Guardians need to be nominated for any sons and daughters who are minors. This should be done both in a will (in case of your death) and in a separate stand-alone document (in case of your incapacity).  If you don’t make such arrangements, a judge will be forced to do it on your behalf, and the outcome may not be what you would have wanted. If any of your children have special needs, you can set up a Supplemental Needs Trust that allows them to receive Medicaid or SSI benefits and use the trust money for expenses that are not covered.

If your family is a blended one (in other words, the product of multiple marriages), a plan will let you specify what your current spouse and any children from a previous relationship will receive. Otherwise, your assets will be distributed to your heirs according to Florida’s laws of intestacy, which may not be in alignment with your wishes.

You can use an estate plan to ensure that the money and property you leave behind remain in the family. If your married child dies or gets divorced, their spouse could potentially receive some or all of the assets that you willed to that child. A trust can specify that in such instances, your former property goes to the grandchildren.

Do you own a business? If so, an estate plan will let you indicate who inherits it after your death. Planning may also provide your family with added financial security in the form of life insurance, with properly designated beneficiaries.

At present fewer than half of all Florida residents have an estate plan. It’s important to remember that regardless of age, everyone should plan for the future because there’s no sure way of knowing what it will bring.

Please contact us today to learn more!

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

3 Essential Tools For Business Estate Planning
3 Reasons To Review Your Estate Planning Now
7 Damaging Misconceptions About Florida Estate Planning
Avoid The High Cost Of Bad Estate Planning
Business Succession: An Important Part Of Your Estate Planning
Diy Estate Planning: Is It Worth The Risks?
Estate Planning 101: Five Essential Steps In Creating A Living Trust
Estate Planning 101: How To Have Difficult Conversations With Your Loved Ones
Estate Planning 101: If You Own Firearms, Consider Creating A Gun Trust
Estate Planning 101: The Advantages And Disadvantages Of An Irrevocable Trust
Estate Planning Basics: Why Avoiding Probate Is Preferable
Estate Planning Beyond The Will: The Importance Of Powers Of Attorney
Estate Planning For Business Owners
Estate Planning For Parents Of Children With Disabilities: Six Key Issues To Consider
Estate Planning: 3 Tips To Help You Begin
Estate Planning: Do You Have A Plan For Your Digital Assets?
Estate Planning: Understanding The Role Of Executor
Four Disastrous Estate Planning Mistakes To Avoid
High Net-Worth Estate Planning: 5 Potential Methods To Help Minimize Estate Tax Liability
How Divorce Affects Your Estate Plans
Isn’t Estate Planning For The Elderly Or The Ultra Wealthy?
New Year’s Resolution – Time To Update My Estate Plan
Secure Your Legacy: Five Often Overlooked Questions That Must Be Answered By Your Estate Plan
Top Estate Planning Excuses
What Are Some Of The Most Effective Estate Planning Strategies For Asset Preservation?
What To Bring When You Meet With Your Estate Planning Attorney
Why Do I Need To Hire An Estate Planning Attorney?

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES – TRUSTS:

PROBATE & TRUST ADMINISTRATION – AN OVERVIEW
A BRIEF Q&A ON SPECIAL NEEDS TRUSTS
CHRISTOPHER D.
DOES YOUR LOVED ONE NEED A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST?
ESTATE PLANNING FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES: SIX KEY ISSUES TO CONSIDER
EXECUTING AN ESTATE: 8 KEY DUTIES OF THE EXECUTOR
NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION – TIME TO UPDATE MY ESTATE PLAN
PAINLESS PROBATE
SECURE YOUR LEGACY: FIVE OFTEN OVERLOOKED QUESTIONS THAT MUST BE ANSWERED BY YOUR ESTATE PLAN
SPENDTHRIFT OR DISCRETIONARY TRUST – WHICH ONE DO I NEED?
SPENDTHRIFT PROVISION: PROTECTING BENEFICIARIES FROM THEMSELVES
WHAT IS A DIRECTED TRUST?
WHY DO I NEED TO HIRE AN ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY?

Written by John Mangan, Esq.

John Mangan, Esq.

I’m an attorney in Palm City, FL, and I serve clients throughout Martin County, including Stuart, Palm City, Hobe Sound, and Indiantown, as well as those in St. Lucie County, the Treasure Coast, Palm Beach County, and other parts of Florida. The Law Offices of John Mangan, P.A., is an innovative firm providing estate planning services to clients in Florida. We focus primarily on wills, trusts, asset protection, guardianship, and probate administration.