Are you a Florida resident thinking about creating an estate plan? Have you recently moved to Florida and have an out-of-state estate plan? Have you been putting off getting an estate plan, thinking it is not important? Have you just been too busy moving to update your estate plan? We would encourage you to continue to read and discover why you should not put off creating your Florida estate plan.
Currently, you may be an active retiree enjoying the sun, golfing and ease of living with your spouse in Florida. Needing to take a few minutes to make an appointment with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney to update your out-of-state will is just not a priority. Or, you may work all the time, and any spare time you have is spent with your family involved in activities like little league sports, attending ballet recitals or school musicals or taking the family on vacation. Creating an estate plan is the farthest concern from your mind. Or, you have worked so hard to obtain the assets you have, and you do not want them to go to the state or be taken by certain members of your family. Now you are thinking about what will happen to your assets when you die.
Do any of the above scenarios resonate with you? We would like to share some key reasons to stop putting off creating a Florida estate plan.
First of all, we never know when life is going to change our circumstances. No matter what your age, you could be injured in an accident or sustain some other injury or illness which could cause you to become incapacitated. In fact, we do not know when we might die. Few of us want to think about dying, getting seriously injured, or being diagnosed with a serious illness. However, we all know injury and illnesses occur and that death is inevitable. And the potential of catastrophic illness or injury may seem remote, but it is still all too real. Creating a complete estate plan now gives you the opportunity to dictate your wishes regarding your care if you are seriously hurt or ill and cannot express yourself. An important tool in your estate plan that does this is a health care surrogate. Created now, before a crisis, this document allows you to designate someone to ensure that your preferences regarding treatment are carried out if you cannot speak for yourself. Another important tool in your estate plan is a living will. In your living will, you may specify how much and which medical interventions you would want if you are at the end of life.
Next, you need to be sure that your family or anyone who depends on you is cared for in the event of your incapacity or death. Your estate plan can address any practical concerns you may have regarding your family’s future care. A Florida estate plan has legal documents that fit each person’s immediate and future concerns. Most estate plans include a last will and testament and one or more trusts. These legal tools allow people to make certain provisions for their families. For example, a will allows you to designate someone as a guardian to care for your young children after you die. Wills and trusts also allow you to allocate money for the immediate and future needs of your children, in the event of your death. Without an estate plan in place, the courts will intervene when necessary. The courts may intervene to appoint a guardian for your minor children or determine the best use of your assets for them.
Finally, an estate plan lets you decide how your assets are distributed after you die. Your Florida estate planning attorney will assist you in the creation of your last will and testament and any trusts that may be needed to name the person or persons who will receive your assets. In your will, you will name your personal representative who will follow your instructions for the distribution of your assets. In Florida, if you die without a will, your property will be distributed as per applicable State of Florida laws.
If you still have questions about estate planning and its importance, we are here to help. Simply call our office to schedule an initial meeting at your earliest convenience.
Our estate planning law firm takes a very different approach from what you might have come to expect. Our goal is to create lifelong relationships with each of our clients, to guide and manage your legacy for the rest of your life. Please contact our offices in Stuart and in Palm City to learn more.