The Estate Planning Checklist You Need

An estate planning checklist is a powerful tool for creating the plan that the most important people will follow in your absence.

Do you have a Florida estate plan? Did you use an estate planning checklist to guide you? As you begin to create or review your existing estate plan you must  verify your goals for yourself, your loved ones, and your legacy. You must specify what you want to happen at a time when you can no longer make decisions for yourself, or when you are no longer here.

If you do have a Florida estate plan, when did you last review it?  Is it a recent plan or a few years old or decades old?  You need to review your estate plan in regard to what is happening in your life now and also in regard to what the future may hold for you. 

Your current Florida estate plan should represent what you want. Do you have questions on what documents you should be looking at to update? Here is the estate planning checklist that guides our clients, with a few key questions that you may want to use as you review your estate planning:

  1. If you are not able to make them for yourself, who will make your decisions? Have you named the right decision maker in your documents? Do you need to update your decision maker?
  2. Who will have the legal authority to pay your bills if you are in a car accident? Are you certain this person is correctly named in your durable power of attorney or your trust agreement?
  3. If you could not handle your business affairs, who would? Is your business protected right now? Are you certain that your succession plan matches your estate plan? Where do you need to make improvements?
  4. If you have minor children, pets, household bills, and more, what would happen to them if you were hospitalized? Are your plans for this type of crisis still the same?
  5. Do you have more than one decision maker? Do you really need dual decision makers? Should there be backups instead? 
  6. Be sure to check if you have Florida documents. If you have out of state estate planning documents, do you know if they will work in Florida? Should they be updated? Now or later?
  7. Are you aware if the laws have changed in the past few years?  Is your current estate planning irrelevant? Do you know if there are new planning options you can take advantage of? When was the last time you checked in with your Florida estate planning attorney?
  8. Have there been any changes in your family structure that would require the need for you to update your planning? For example: divorces, marriages, deaths, or births. 

All the above questions are important. In fact, we often hear questions like this when we meet with our clients and their family members. Based on our experience, when it comes to Florida estate planning, you need to know your up-to-date plan will work when you need it to. 

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. 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. 

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