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October 16, 2020

Even in death, our obligations to loved ones or businesses we controlled doesn’t end. When we pass, those we cared for, did business with, or lent philanthropic support will still need us. Planning your estate with these needs in mind can help you achieve the level of support those around us depend on despite our being gone.

It is a fact that we can’t predict when we will leave this earth, and this is why properly planning your Florida estate is a necessary step to protect the ones we care about most. It’s also vital to understand that estate planning isn’t only for those with significant wealth or real estate and is an advisable precaution for anyone that has assets they want to protect for their beneficiaries.

What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is making arrangements for the distribution of assets like your home, financial accounts, and property after you die. The purpose of this process is to protect beneficiaries from financial disputes, legal issues, and other related complications that could arise when distributing your estate. It is a necessary step in ensuring the observation of your final wishes. It is also a critical process for better assessing how any debts you may have are to be handled, including your burial costs.

Why is Estate Planning So Important in Florida?

There are countless reasons to plan your estate so that there are little to no complications regarding your assets after you pass away. One of the most important being that your loved ones will already be grieving, and adding complex legal issues regarding probate, debt, and tax implications will be even more stressful. Consider the additional factors that make estate planning a critical step you shouldn’t delay:

Asset Protection

A judge will have no choice but to appoint someone to handle most of your estate when you pass away when there is no estate plan. Worse, the individual chosen may not be someone you know or would trust to be responsible for handling your assets. This could also cause a longer probate process if family or relatives contest their appointment or disagree with the distribution they receive. Additionally, without an estate plan, your creditors will likely get their share first, which may not leave much behind for your loved ones.

Save on Taxes

It isn’t always advantageous to possess significant financial wealth or other large assets because of the tax implications involved. Estate planning helps to reduce this burden. Working with an experienced estate planning attorney like those at The Legacy Law Firm can help you learn about the many options you have to help avoid probate and reduce federal estate taxes so that your beneficiaries receive maximized distributions.

Gives You Control and Management Over Your Assets

Having full control over your estate when you pass is an important safeguard that many of us want so that we are sure our beneficiaries are taken care of for the long term. This is nearly impossible to achieve in the state of Florida without an estate plan. Failing to have an estate plan in place when you die will leave your beneficiaries the burden of protecting their distributions from creditors, and this may not be possible if you didn’t plan.

Determine Who Your Healthcare Surrogate Will Be

This is an aspect of estate planning that often gets overlooked: determining a healthcare surrogate. If you are to become incapacitated, you can have a designated family member, like your spouse, be given authority to make major health decisions on your behalf when you cannot. This measure gives you some level of influence on how you want your end of life experience to happen, and you can choose someone that you trust to abide by your wishes.

Continuation of Your Philanthropic Goals

Philanthropic giving is a popular choice for many with significant estate sizes. Estate planning ensures that charities and other charitable organizations you support receive a portion you allocated for their cause. Many times, when we think of beneficiaries, we only consider our immediate family or business, but nonprofits receive a lot of their funding from this type of giving.

Estate Planning in Florida

Property planning your Florida estate not only guarantees your final wishes are legally observed but ensures that your estate is left in the hands of those you wanted it to be. You can eliminate any confusion and make the processing of your assets after your passing straightforward and less of a burden for your loved ones. Failing to create an estate plan can result in losses to creditors, infighting, and mismanagement. Avoid these situations from occurring by taking the first step and find a knowledgeable Florida estate planning attorney to help you understand what options are best for your situation.

It is important to note that the early you plan, the better, but be prepared to update it with new assets and beneficiaries in the future. Life is ever-changing, as are the components and value of your property, especially if you have major life events like marriage, the birth of a child, or the formation of a business.

Start Creating Your Florida Estate Plan Today

From gathering up and inventorying all of your assets to creating the documentation, you need to make a legally recognized estate plan that requires experience and knowledge of Florida and federal law. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney is invaluable for this process and will be there to help you make updates as the years go by.

At The Legacy Law Firm, we work with you to protect the best interests of your estate so that your chosen beneficiaries receive the assets you want them to have. We help you avoid common mistakes that could put your estate in jeopardy with creditors or probate situations so that your loved ones have their long-term needs met after you pass away. Call us today at (954) 999-9683 or contact us online to discuss your unique situation, learn more, and get started.