Many people are waiting until next year before dealing with planning their estate, since they do not know whether new estate planning laws will be in effect by next year. Some people in Florida with a higher amount of assets are uncertain how future laws will affect their estate planning decisions. However, one should not procrastinate on something as important as planning one’s estate. Despite the uncertainty in the new laws, there are some tasks which could be taken care of regardless of any changes to the estate tax laws.
An action one can take regardless of the estate tax laws is updating beneficiary designations. Many people have already filled out beneficiary designation forms for financial accounts, which will override other estate planning documents in terms of asset distribution. One should periodically review their estate planning documents to make sure they match current circumstances.
Another critical item to cover is designation of legal guardians of any children. Parents should choose a guardian who is willing and able to care for the children if it is required. Therefore, one should be sure to discuss the decision with the potential guardian. Many couples avoid this topic, because it can be difficult to contemplate the necessity of such an event, but it is important to put emotions aside in this important step of planning your estate.
Creating a living will is another critical document which instructs a person’s medical providers and family how the person wishes to be cared for if he or she becomes terminally ill and unable to express his or her own wishes. A living will describes the person’s views regarding life support and whether or not he or she wishes to remain on life support in certain circumstances. Another similar, yet different document is a last will and testament, which details how one wishes his or her belongings to be distributed following death.
These are just a few of the important steps in planning an estate one can take, regardless of the estate tax laws. Other things to consider would be power of attorney and naming an executor. During estate planning in Florida, one should be aware of applicable laws. These can be complex, therefore it is important to carefully consider the issues in order to effectuate an estate plan that achieves its intended goals.