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What Is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is the process of creating documents that protect you and your loved ones should you ever become sick or when you pass away.

Are Most People Surprised At The Amount Of Assets They Have To Protect?

The assets that people forget about most when discussing estate planning are life insurance and retirement accounts. Most people that have young children will have life insurance. Even if someone does not have a lot of money, there is often life insurance that will need to be accounted for when he or she is planning.

What Happens If Someone Passes Away Without Setting Up An Estate Plan?

You need an estate plan if you have anyone in your life that depends on you, because creating an estate plan will make it easier for the people left behind to deal with the financial impact of your death. If you die without an estate plan, the state of Florida has a plan for you. The plan is called the Laws of Intestacy. The Laws of Intestacy govern how your estate is distributed if you do not have a will. Typically, under the Laws of Intestacy, if you are married, your estate goes to your spouse, unless you have children from outside of the marriage, in which case your spouse will share the estate with them.

Where the Laws of Intestacy have their biggest weakness is in situations of a committed couple that is not married, or a blended family. The Laws of Intestacy make absolutely no provision for stepchildren, and yet I find that many of my clients want to make some provisions for their stepchildren.

Why Do People Procrastinate When Setting Up An Estate Plan?

Most people say it is on their “to do” list because they know that it is very important, but they do not see it as something that needs to be done urgently. However, you will have peace of mind from knowing that the estate plan is there and ready to protect you and your loved ones should it be necessary.

How Often Should People Maintain Their Estate Plan?

It is appropriate to have a checkup every year or two, or when there is an important event in someone’s life such as a birth, adoption or the death of a family member. Also, a significant change in financial position might cause someone to reevaluate the estate plan.

For more information on Estate Planning in Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 727-827-7777 today.

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