3 Ways To Improve Your Florida Estate Plan Today
It was a wise decision if you already created an estate plan, as you know that these documents are essential to protect your legacy, provide guidance for incapacity, and make things easier on loved ones at your death. Unfortunately, not as many people have not taken the steps with estate planning. According to the 2022 Wills and Estate Planning Study prepared by Caring.com, just 33 percent of survey respondents have executed a will or trust. For the other two-thirds, the State of Florida takes over to control estate administration or guardianship proceedings.
As you probably realized when you went through the estate planning process initially, you will have to revisit things periodically. This is an important task that provides opportunities, and there are many ways to improve your estate plan. You should consult with a Dade City estate planning attorney about requirements and preparing the proper documents, but consider the following possibilities.
- Make Adjustments to Your Will: If a few years have passed since you executed your will or trust, it is likely that many aspects of your life have changed as well. Significant life changes justify revisiting your estate plan. Have you retired, had a large inheritance, a divorce or marriage – all of these changes may impact your estate plan. There are options to make it better and more in tune with your current reality, such as:
- Providing instructions on distributing any new assets you acquired;
- Adding beneficiaries when there are new children, grandchildren, relatives, and loved ones in your life;
- Changing the executor and/or successor executor, which may be appropriate in the event of death, divorce, or an unwellness to serve.
- Add Powers of Attorney: Many people assume that they cover their bases with just a will or trust without understanding how estate planning is useful for incapacity. If you are unable to make decisions regarding your medical care and assets, you should also prepare:
- Designation of Health Care Surrogate, which appoints an agent to take care of your well-being, medical needs, applications for public assistance, placement in assisted living, and related care; and,
- Durable Power of Attorney, allowing you to name an agent to manage your real estate and personal property if you become incapacitated.
- Consider Creating a Trust: You might have tabled the topic the first time around, but adding a trust may be an option to improve your estate plan. With a living trust, you may appoint yourself as trustee to manage the assets during your lifetime. Your affairs stay private, and you have more control over how the trust is managed even after your passing. Plus, a trust can be an effective tool for avoiding probate, because the assets held in it are officially not owned by you.
Trust a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer to Help with Important Tasks
As you can see, looking for ways to improve your estate plan is a useful exercise. Our team at The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane can guide you in evaluating details, and we will assist in preparing the documents necessary to make changes. Please contact our firm today at 352-567-0055 or via our website. We can set up a consultation to discuss your current plan and opportunities.