Estate planning can be a complex endeavor for those living in Florida or anywhere else in the United States. Therefore, it is generally a good idea to create an estate plan with the help of a professional. One attorney remarked that estate planning is akin to waterproofing a basement: While an individual could learn how to do the job him or herself, that person is taking a big risk by not asking for help with such an important project.
There are many problems that can arise when people try to make an estate plan on their own. The biggest problem is that a form could be filled out correctly but not executed properly. This may result in that document being deemed invalid. While the error may be fixed after an individual passes on, it will likely need to be corrected in court.
Another problem a person could face is not tailoring an estate plan to both current and future needs. For instance, if the tax code has changed, it may make a document or other plan component obsolete. A professional will be able to provide insight into the tax and other implications that these changes could have. Finally, professionals can help individuals take family dynamics into account when deciding how to structure a will or trust.
Even if a person uses template forms to create an estate plan, it could still be worthwhile to have them reviewed by an attorney. This can help ensure that wills, trusts or other documents are executed properly. An attorney may be able to suggest custom provisions that help meet a person's needs and goals. These goals might be to minimize estate taxes or protect assets from creditor claims. Creating a trust may help assets avoid going through probate.