Estate planning is a process that many people would prefer to delay or entirely avoid. However, this approach is both selfish, as it passes a lot of stress on to other people, and very risky.
When you don’t have a comprehensive estate plan in place, things could go wrong that complicate your life later or that leave the people you love very vulnerable.
There are numerous benefits to the creation of a comprehensive estate plan, and the three below are among the most compelling reasons to sit down and draft your own custom estate planning documents.
Securing control over your legacy
If you don’t plan your estate ahead of time, then Florida state law determines who inherits what. You have far more control over the impact your property will have on other people when you decide for yourself who inherits your home, who receives your business and who receives the residuary estate not specifically addressed elsewhere in your estate plan.
From providing for loved ones with special needs to supporting a charity that matters to you, there are many legacy goals that you could achieve with a comprehensive estate plan.
Avoiding financial losses and probate stress
When you are older and live on a fixed income, your advance planning could protect your assets from creditors and help you get Medicaid benefits. When you die, your estate plan can minimize probate complications and protect your assets from creditors and taxes.
Although Florida does not allow you to prohibit challenges to your estate with a no-contest clause, you can still significantly reduce the likelihood of probate litigation and other expenses diminishing your legacy with a thorough plan.
Protecting yourself as you age
Some older adults will experience a drop in cognitive function and will eventually face a loss of capacity that could lead to involuntary guardianship. Advance planning when you are still healthy allows you to create medical directives and powers of attorney that provide guidance about what care you want to receive and allow you to name someone you trust to make medical decisions or handle financial matters on your behalf.
Creating a comprehensive estate plan now will protect you as you age, protect your legacy after you die and give you control over what happens to your property and the people you love.