A large number of Floridians put off planning their estate. When people do not plan, they can leave a lot of disorganization behind for their family members. There are some specific documents that are necessary to have in place in order to avoid confusion.

When a person owns property jointly, that property will automatically pass to the named co-owner. An example of jointly owned property is a house that a person owns with someone else. Life insurance and retirement accounts will also pass directly to named beneficiaries. If the beneficiaries are not up-to-date, this can be a problem. All other property will either pass according to the intestacy laws of the state or according to a person’s will.

At a minimum, most people may want to have a will and an advanced directive in place. A will can be used to minimize confusion and to pass assets and property as the testator wishes. Advanced directives or living wills can inform doctors and family members about the type of health care people are willing to receive at the end of their lives. If a person is incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves, a power of attorney can be designated to another person who can make decisions for them.

A will may help to prevent conflict between family members after a person dies. People may want to meet with an estate planning attorney to try to make certain their wishes will be followed. An attorney may help their clients to draft wills that are more likely to be determined to be legally valid in court.