Creating an estate plan is an important thing to do for just about any person. This includes people of all income levels and age brackets in Florida or in any other state. However, approximately 51 percent of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64 have not completed the first step in estate planning, which is drafting a will. Further, about 62 percent of people between 45 and 54 do not have a will.
This can be a problem for many people if they happen to die before they are able to get around to creating a will. When a person dies without a will, it is known as “intestate.” In this case, there are no guarantees that one’s intended beneficiaries will receive assets in one’s estate after he or she dies. Determining who will receive assets will be based upon state laws.
Usually if a person is married with children, the surviving spouse and the kids will be able to inherit one’s assets left behind. However, this is not a guarantee, and there are many circumstances in which the court will be more likely to give assets to another party. Without a will, the court will also choose the guardians for minor children which could result in one’s preferred guardians to be passed up by the court. For those who were single and without children, the court will choose among one’s relatives to distribute one’s assets.
On the other hand, if one has a will and other estate planning documents, he or she will have more control over what happens to one’s assets and property after death in Florida or in any other state. It may be best to not leave these types of decisions up to a judge who is essentially a stranger and has no connection with one’s family or preferred beneficiaries. However, even with a will, without the proper legal language, the will can be challenged in probate court.