5 Major Disasters to Avoid with Your Florida Estate Plan
Starting an estate plan, even when you are younger, is important. However, it’s also important that you ensure your estate plan works for you. Just creating a will isn’t always enough to adequately protect your assets and ensure your wishes are carried out. When you meet with a West Palm Beach estate planning attorney, he or she will sit down with you and discuss what assets you currently have, what you plan to acquire in the near future, your family situation (married, children, etc.), and more to ascertain what the best recommended estate planning tools are for your particular situation.
You might assume that the only potential disaster is not having an estate plan at all. However, there are other things that can derail an estate plan and put you in a situation where you seemingly don’t have any estate plan at all. Here’s a look at 5 potential disasters to avoid when looking at creating your Florida estate plan.
Trying to Do it All on Your Own
Some people are afraid to contact an estate planning attorney because they think it’s out of their budget. However, attempting to do everything on your own can have dire consequences. Using “DIY” forms found online do not address your personal situation and can wind up leaving you with only a partial plan in place.
Not Planning for Incapacitation
Estate planning isn’t just about setting things up for when you pass away. Estate planning also includes planning for your possible incapacitation or disability. You need to consider health care proxies, powers of attorney, etc., in the event that something happens that keeps you from being able to work. If you don’t have these documents, the court may be forced to appoint a guardian who will oversee your healthcare and financial decisions during your incapacitation.
Verifying Joint Accounts and Beneficiaries
When you have an estate planning attorney assisting you, he or she will go over all your accounts and discuss beneficiaries and whether or not your joint accounts are set up for transfer upon death. It’s not uncommon that people forget to change their beneficiaries on an old 401(k) or fail to understand that their will won’t control the transfer of certain types of accounts. It’s imperative to have your beneficiary designations in place as you don’t want to lose income tax deferrals at death.
Not Re-Assessing Your Estate Plan Again
Don’t create your estate plan and just move on. Significant changes to your situation, or even changes in the law, can warrant the need to reassess your current estate plan in place. Perhaps you got married, divorced, had a child, bought a business, etc.
Not Telling Your Estate Planning Attorney Everything
Keeping information from your estate planning attorney can only hurt your plan in the long run. It’s understandable that you want to keep family and finances private, but your attorney needs to understand the whole picture in order to properly help you get the right estate plan in place and help reduce potential conflict, minimize taxes, and make the transition less stressful on your loved ones. It’s important to spend the time up front to get everything right.
Contact a Florida Estate Planning Attorney Today
If you need assistance with your Florida estate plan, contact the Law Offices of Larry E. Bray, P.A. today to schedule an initial consultation.