Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning In Florida
Estate planning can be a confusing process. You want to feel secure and satisfied while creating your estate plan, and more importantly, after it’s completed. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions. Our attorneys are regularly available to answer more questions you may have.
Do you have to have a certain amount of money for an estate plan?
No. There are no wealth or asset minimums needed to create an estate plan. People at all levels of wealth, and in any phase of life, can benefit from creating an estate plan. These plans are designed to both protect your assets and ensure your wishes are properly carried out if you become incapacitated or after your death.
What normally goes into an estate plan?
Estate planning is more than just figuring out where your money and assets go after you die. Beyond a will, your estate plan should also include things like a health care directive and power of attorney, to help your loved ones care for you if you become incapacitated.
Your estate plan should name your beneficiaries, have an inventory of your assets, accounts, and debts and name guardianships. It can also include trusts, and other end-of-life directives, like funeral instructions.
What happens if I die without an estate plan?
If you die without a will in place, the courts will decide what happens to your property by default. The probate process in these cases can be extremely complicated for your loved ones. Without a will, the courts will have to guess what your intentions would have been. Typically, your estate will be distributed to your spouse and children, your closest living relatives.
The courts will also make other important decisions that would normally be detailed in an estate plan, such as guardianship of children.
What should I know about probate?
Probate is the process your estate goes through when you die. During this process, the courts will review your estate, validate your will, pay creditors when necessary and distribute your assets according to the terms of your will. All estates, no matter what size, go through this process. However, there are some ways you can avoid this process, or set aside some of your estate to be excluded from this process. An estate planning attorney can give you more information about this.
Can I create an estate plan on my own?
There are many do-it-yourself templates for estate planning online. It is possible to create an estate plan without the help of a legal professional. However, working with an estate planning attorney can help you better protect your assets and ensure your estate is handled the way you intend.
An estate planning attorney can also give you important information and guidance about tax regulations and other legal matters involved in the process. Like with many other things, it’s possible to estate plan on your own, but there are professionals who do this for a living for a reason, too.
Get In Touch With A Professional
If you have more questions about the estate planning process, get in touch with one of our attorneys. We can answer your questions and help you create a secure plan that achieves your goals and protects what matters to you. Use our online contact form or call 352-200-2382 to set up an appointment today.