Although the thought of one’s own death is not a comforting thought, there are many reasons why one should start to prepare for this inevitable event. Creating an effective estate plan will help make the estate administration process easier and more efficient by avoiding the need to go through probate court in Florida or in any other state. It can also help in the case one becomes incapacitated.
Two of the most important documents a good estate plan should have is a will and a trust. The will specifically states where one’s money and assets will go to, however the will does not address tax issues. On the other hand, a trust is designed to clear liability and tax concerns during distribution of assets. The will and the trust are many times both included in an estate plan.
Besides preparing for death, an estate plan can also be helpful when one is incapacitated and unable to make decisions. One estate planning document which would help in this situation is a living trust, which could be helpful if one has a minor child because it can allow a chosen trustee to manage finances on behalf of the child or any other dependent. Another important document is an advanced medical directive which specifies who should be in charge of making medical decisions while one is incapacitated.
Which estate planning documents one chooses will depend upon one’s specific situation and goals. However, it is important to properly draft the legal documents in order to enable an efficient estate administration process in Florida or in any other state. If estate planning documents are not carefully crafted they could be challenged in probate court, which could result in a time-consuming and expensive problem for intended heirs.