After a person passes away, their heirs and family will be responsible for dealing with distributing the person’s assets and money. Estate planning before death can significantly help intended beneficiaries navigate through the estate administration process while also avoiding costly court fees associated with probate proceedings. One of the most important steps in Florida estate planning is to inform intended beneficiaries of any debts remaining, including credit cards, mortgage obligations or any other large debts that have not been paid off.

For that reason, it is typically essential for adult children to talk with their parents in order to be informed about the debt their parents may still be holding. One woman attempted to have this conversation with her mother but failed to do so, which ended up costing her time, money and stress. The woman along with her two siblings attempted to have this conversation with their mother, but the mother would consistently avoid the subject every time they brought up the issue.

Unfortunately, their mother ran out of time and ended up passing away at the age of 74 in Feb. 2013. The mother had fallen down some stairs in her home which caused fatal injuries. However, the mother never informed her children regarding how much she still owed on her mortgage which eventually entered into default. This made it difficult for her daughter to find out exactly how much was owed on the house without a death certificate, which was not being issued promptly because the cause of the mother’s death was undetermined.

Along with knowledge of any remaining debts, there are various other issues which must be addressed during estate planning in Florida or in any other state. Some options which may be useful are drafting of specific legal and financial instruments, such as a last will and testament, trusts and a power-of-attorney. A good estate plan will streamline the estate administration process.