It’s generally a good idea for any adult living in Florida to have an estate plan regardless of his or her relationship status. Creating such a plan can make it easier to ensure that your affairs are settled quickly after you pass. It can also help to ensure that your affairs are managed properly if you become incapacitated. Finally, a will or trust can dictate who is to care for your children if you are no longer able to care for them.
Who will get your stuff after you die?
A will or trust can be used to dictate who gets assets at the time of your death. If you opt to create a trust, it can be used to gift assets to friends, family members or charitable organizations during your lifetime. It can also be used as a place to hold assets for minor beneficiaries who aren’t legally able to manage property on their own.
Do you want everyone to know about the structure of your estate plan?
It’s important to understand that assets included in a will cannot be distributed to beneficiaries until the document has been verified. This is done in a probate proceeding that begins shortly after you pass, and depending on the structure of your estate, it can take several months or years to complete.
Furthermore, the public is entitled to review your will or any other details about your probate case. The use of a trust can help you avoid probate and protect the privacy of your beneficiaries.
If you are a legal adult, you can start creating your estate plan today. If you already have plan documents in place, it’s generally a good idea to review them at least once a year. This minimizes the risk that they are not structured properly, which could result in a legal challenge during probate.