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Wills Archives

Commonly overlooked estate planning matters

Estate planning in Florida is a personal process. The specifics of an estate plan will vary based on the creator's situation. While there are a few things most people can count on needing (such as a will), there are also a few things nearly everyone should avoid. People who are considering their Florida estate plans should avoid naming minors as beneficiaries, drafting their own wills and carelessly adding joint owners to bank accounts.

Common misconceptions about estate planning

Some Florida residents may delay estate planning because they do not want to think about death. Others may do so because they think they have too few assets to make a will worthwhile. However, even people whose only holdings are a small bank account and a home probably have a preference about who they want those assets to go to. For those who genuinely have no assets, a will can still serve other purposes. It can appoint a guardian for any minor children. A will can also be used to specify funeral plans.

Possible drawbacks of a DIY estate plan

Some people in Florida may be among the 40 percent of American adults who, according to the AARP, lack a living trust or a will. People may avoid estate planning because they find it costly or time-consuming or because they are uncomfortable discussing estate planning issues with an attorney. Some of those people might assume that using a do-it-yourself estate planning package is a solution to those concerns, but there can be drawbacks.

How blended families should approach estate planning

Florida parents who have biological children from a previous marriage may not want to leave everything directly to their current spouses when they pass on. This is because the surviving spouse may not give those children their fair share of those assets in spite of their claims to do so. Therefore, it may be a good idea to put assets in a trust that the children can benefit from.

Limitations of online DIY estate planning services

Online services that prepare fill-in-the-blank estate planning documents, like wills and powers of attorney, have been available in Florida for years. People might turn to these services if they feel uncomfortable actually discussing end-of-life subjects and financial matters with a person. The AARP confirmed this reluctance with a survey that found only four in 10 people had an estate plan. Preparing the documents online might feel convenient and appear affordable, but these services have limitations.

What is abatement?

Estate planning in Florida can be a challenge because you do not have exact knowledge of the future. The best you can do when writing a will is to make educated guesses about when you will pass on and what property and assets you will have to bequeath when you do. Circumstances can and do change, which is why it is both easy and common to revise the contents of a will. 

Estate planning as a small business owner

Estate plans are important for a number of reasons, such as protecting the way in which one’s assets are split up among those they love and finding some peace of mind in knowing that these matters will be handled properly in the future. Everyone is in a different position when it comes to estate planning, whether someone has a vast amount of wealth or a relatively modest income, has a large family or is unmarried with no children, etc. Moreover, those who run a small business have additional issues to take into consideration.

Why unmarried couples need an estate plan

It may be important for unmarried couples in Florida who live together to create estate plans to ensure that they have certain rights that are granted automatically to married people. First, each person should have a health care power of attorney that authorizes the other person to make medical decisions. This reduces the likelihood of a battle with family members for this authority if one person falls ill.

The need for estate planning

A personalized estate plan can be used by individuals to help ensure that their wishes and objectives are honored should they become incapacitated or when they die. Even if they have no children or any other close living relatives, Florida residents should still strongly consider developing one.

Online archives can be an estate planning headache

The information age has transformed society, and many Florida residents now store their important information and documents online rather than in locked drawers or safe deposit boxes. This trend has made estate planning more complex and more challenging as it takes time for the law to evolve and change in response to technological innovation. These issues are particularly thorny when it comes to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, as they are basically assets in digital form.

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