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Why everyone should have an estate plan

Individuals in Florida and throughout the country could benefit from having an estate plan. This is true even if they have few assets and no children. According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 78 percent of millennials don't have a will or other common estate plan documents. A living trust can be helpful in the event that an individual is unable to communicate his or her wishes.

A power of attorney may also make it easier for a person to retain control over assets or health care decisions while incapacitated for any reason. An estate plan can help a person structure gifts in an orderly manner without necessarily having to pay transfer taxes. In 2019, an individual can make gifts of up to $15,000 without triggering a taxable event. The amount is $30,000 for married couples. Without a will, the state may determine what happens to a person's assets.

Therefore, individuals who are planning on providing for their children or giving money to charity can benefit from having one. Irrevocable trusts and limited liability companies can also protect assets and ensure that they are available for future generations to use. As part of the estate planning process, parents or grandparents may want to talk with their children or grandchildren about issues that may need to be accounted for.

Having living or other types of trusts may protect assets both today and into the future. Individuals can use them to ensure that their home, bank account or other property is managed if they cannot do so on their own. The language of a trust may also prevent beneficiaries from squandering their inheritance. Attorneys might help parents or others create a trust or determine which type of trust may meet their needs.

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