Why do I need an Estate Plan?

Estate Plan:A set of documents created which, among other purposes, dictate what happens to your accumulated assets upon your passing and name party or parties to make decisions on your behalf in situations where you are not able to do so yourself.

Thinking about death is difficult. But, the reality is that death is inevitable and your accumulated wealth will likely exceed your passing. Should you leave this world without even a simple Will in place, the state of Florida will determine who inherits your assets, which is almost as scary as death itself.

Predicting the future is impossible. In light of this fact, we believe that it is never too early to create an estate plan. We further believe that there is no estate too small or large that would make estate planning unnecessary. At the very basic level, an estate plan would address the following:

  • Who will inherit your assets upon your passing
  • Who will make healthcare and financial decisions on your behalf, should you be unable to do so due to physical or mental incapacity
  • Who will take care of your children should something happen to you and your spouse
  • Can we mitigate the amount of estate taxes owed, or avoid them altogether

Having said the above, there are common circumstances that exacerbate the need for estate planning and increase the complexity of the planning. The more common circumstances are as follows:

  • The client is in a second marriage, with children from a prior marriage. How does the client divide assets between the second spouse and the children?
  • The client has a young child and a large amount of assets set to pass down upon passing. Does the client want the young child to inherit a large lump sum of money at that age, or rather pass out the assets over time?
  • The client has a child that is a habitual drug user or alcoholic. Does the client want to give the child money outright, or does the client want to put another party in charge of handling investments and provide funds as necessary for things like healthcare and living needs?
  • The client has a child with special needs. Does the client want to pass down assets outright, potentially disqualifying the child for public assistance?

These circumstances are more common than not and must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to ensure the necessary planning is in place to avoid future pitfalls.  


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