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Wills Archives

How to avoid estate planning issues

Individuals in Florida and throughout America should have an estate plan. That plan should account for as many different scenarios that a person can think of even if not all of them are likely to occur. For instance, it can be a good idea to include a power of attorney to ensure that financial and medical decisions can be made on an incapacitated person's behalf.

The importance of passwords in estate planning

Spouses in Florida should make sure that they have a thorough understanding of the family finances and access to one another's passwords in case one of them dies. This can be particularly important for women, who are more likely to be widowed and less likely to handle the financial issues in a marriage.

Accounting for digital assets in an estate plan

Those who live in Florida or any other state will need to make sure that their estate plans account for digital assets. These assets may include bank accounts, social media accounts and anything else that is accessed by a computer or internet connection. Therefore, an email account, photos that are kept online or online subscriptions paid for with a credit card could be considered digital assets as well.

Questions to consider when creating a will

An important part of planning your estate is creating a last will and testament. This critical document is comprised of how you would like your estate handled and what you would like to happen to your assets and property after you pass. It can be difficult and overwhelming to think of such things as you are drafting your will. However, you can prepare yourself by researching what types of questions you will need to answer, as well as what will be included in the will.

The drawbacks of a handwritten will

Those who live or own property in Florida are encouraged to create an estate plan that includes a last will and testament. Ideally, it will be typed as handwritten wills may come under more scrutiny. In some cases, they may not be seen as valid. Typically, a will must be signed and dated in the presence of two witnesses, and the signatures are usually done in ink or through electronic means.

Why only one will should be signed

An estate owner in Florida needs to sign their will before it becomes official. While a person can sign more than one copy of the same will, there is no need to do so. This is because the document may have personal or sensitive information that others shouldn't necessarily have access to. It's also important to note that a will can be amended or changed at any time.

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.

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