Florida Probate Attorney Blog

July 29, 2020

Estate Planning at a Glance

Estate planning is a sensitive subject that is surprisingly avoided on a large scale by adults at every income level. There are many reasons for the lack of action to enter the world of estate planning, but the bottom line is that for whatever reason too many people have not decided to take control of important decisions.  Many Americans continue to put off planning for end of life care and the management of their affairs after their death.  It’s true that these are difficult topics to face but the truth is this – after making the decision to meet with a Florida estate planning attorney to complete your estate plan, you’ll likely find that the process wasn’t nearly as difficult as you may have initially believed.  In fact, you’ll most likely feel a huge sense of relief at having settled long-standing uncertainties if life throws a curveball.

Facts About Estate Planning – Or, Rather, Lack Of It

When looking at the numbers in 2019 from various reports and surveys, the level of unpreparedness is staggering when it comes to estate planning.  Particularly alarming is that more than 50% of Americans would die today without having a will or any estate plan in place.

Reasons for Not Creating Estate Plans

A number of reasons for putting off estate planning come up when people are asked.  Perhaps the most common reasons tend to be:

  • People don’t believe they own enough, in terms of assets
  • Some cite the difficulty of finding an attorney that they trust
  • Most admit that they simply haven’t made the time to complete this important task

The Truth About Estate Planning: Excuses

Though there are endless excuses for not creating an estate plan, the truth is that people citing these reasons don’t know the reality behind not getting key legal documents in order.

Estate Plans Aren’t Just for the Wealthy

It’s a common misconception that an estate plan is just about distributing money and property after death. In fact, planning ahead allows you to accomplish much more!  Just take a look at what an estate plan can offer you:

  • Select a guardian for your minor children in the event of your death
  • Choose an agent to make healthcare decisions according to your wishes if you’re incapacitated and can’t communicate with medical professionals
  • Designate an agent through a power of attorney to handle your finances and make decisions if you are incapacitated
  • Select a trustee to manage trust assets for children or irresponsible beneficiaries until they have the maturity to look after their inheritance themselves
  • Protect an inheritance from the beneficiary’s creditors or in the event of a divorce

The Scary Truth of Dying Without a Will

If you die without a will, your estate will pass through probate and be administered under Florida’s intestacy statutes. This means the court will appoint an executor it chooses to distribute your assets according to law. This can be particularly damaging for nontraditional families, because if you and your partner are not married, intestacy distributes assets along traditional family lines – meaning your parents or blood relatives may get assets you’d have liked to leave to your partner. The court will also appoint a guardian it chooses to care for your minor children. Your family has little to no say in the process.

Additionally, keep in mind that probate is public, time consuming and costly!

  • Public – the proceedings are a matter of public record meaning that anyone around the world can pull the probate docket from the County website.
  • Time consuming – even a modest estate can spend between 6 months and 2 years proceeding through probate
  • Costly – between attorney fees, appraisal fees, bond fees, personal representative fees, and other fees, the average probate eats up between 3 and 8 percent of the total asset value of the estate!

Contact a Florida Estate Planning Lawyer – Coral Springs Estate Planning Attorney 

Though it may seem intimidating, the benefits of estate planning far outweigh the drawbacks. Thankfully, it’s not too late to get a plan put into place to make sure your wishes are carried out, your family is cared for, and there are no surprises for your family during the emotional time after you are gone or cannot make your own decisions. The experienced estate planning attorney at The Legacy Law Firm can help you put together a plan to prepare for the future.

Call us today at (954) 999-9683 or contact us online to learn more, get your questions answered, and start the process.

You can even begin by submitting your information HERE– we are looking forward to hearing from you!

 

 

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