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Estate planning involves creating wills, trusts

The search continues for the will of the late musician Prince. Without it, his family will have to rely on a probate court's decisions regarding what will happen to all the assets he left behind. The ordeal calls attention to the importance of estate planning, which is essential not just for millionaires but also for ordinary people in Florida. A couple of tips may help people to complete comprehensive estate planning.

First, it is wise for a person to make a list of all of his or her valuables and belongings. Then, the person can determine who will get what after he or she dies. This will ultimately determine the level of complexity of the person's estate plan. When making the list, it is important to include not only assets and property but also debts. For those who have young children, assigning guardians is another important step in the estate planning process.

Establishing a trust may be beneficial for a person who has significant assets. Trusts allow people to transfer their assets to their beneficiaries after their deaths without involving the courts. Trusts also often provide more confidentiality since they are typically utilized to avoid probate. Wills on the other hand become public records upon probate.

It is also wise to write a letter of final instructions. This letter puts a person's final wishes in plain language. With proper legal guidance in Florida, people may easily be able to complete estate planning in a manner that allows them to protect their assets and consider their loved ones' best interests as well.

Source: cnbc.com, "Don't be like Prince. Set up an estate plan now", Sharon Epperson, May 5, 2016

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