Planning one’s estate is among the most important things a person can do in order to save family from grief after one passes away. Many times small details make a large difference when it comes to estate planning in Florida or elsewhere. Individuals should take care to ensure that an estate plan is clear and concise as well as legally enforceable. Unfortunately, there are several common mistakes that people make when creating an estate plan that causes problems for loved ones in the future.
One common mistake which people make is using multiple names on their estate planning documents. For instance, on some documents a person may be called ‘Jon James’ while on another document he may be called ‘Jonathan James.’ Perhaps on yet another document the same person may be referred to as ‘J.S. James.’ This will require his heirs to prove that all three documents truly refer to the same person. Inconsistencies in Social Security numbers and dates of birth can prove even more challenging.
Many times, those with real estate in more than one state will fail to take the necessary preparations to help their heirs avoid the probate process. In order to allow one’s heirs to avoid dealing with probate in two states, one may wish to place the properties in a trust. This can save heirs thousands of dollars in having to negotiate the probate process in two different jurisdictions.
Making sure to go over every detail of all estate planning documents can save heirs time and money in probate court. One will also have to take into consideration the tax consequences when deciding how to form an estate plan in Florida or elsewhere. This can also save beneficiaries significant money on tax liabilities. Understanding applicable laws and regulations will be required.