Estate Planning Should Also Include Post-Mortem Planning
March 3, 2014
Planning an estate is important for anybody, no matter what age or how wealthy. Estate planning provides direction for heirs on how to administer one’s estate after a person dies in Florida or in any other state. This will help heirs avoid having to go through a lengthy probate process. However, even with an estate plan in place, after one dies, there are still several tasks that must be completed.
First, the person designated to administer one’s estate must have knowledge and access to one’s estate planning documents. Among the documents, the estate administrator must include one’s will and power of attorney. Also, life insurance policies, trusts and tax returns are essential. These documents will serve as a guide on how to implement one’s estate plan.
After obtaining the necessary estate planning documents, there are several deadlines for filing important legal documents that must be met. A decedent’s federal tax return must be filed with the IRS by the usual deadline in mid-April, the year after the death. The federal estate tax return must be filed with the IRS nine months following a person’s death.
On the other hand, in order for estate planning to be effective, it is important to have one’s estate planning documents drafted carefully with the correct legal language. This means that one will have to be familiar with all of the applicable estate planning laws in Florida. Also, regularly updating an estate plan to reflect one’s most recent life changes, such as remarrying, is a good idea. Ultimately, a good estate plan will reflect one’s own estate planning goals, which will be different for each individual.