Why Now is the Best Time to Estate Plan
Estate planning can seem daunting. It can be overwhelming trying to determine what documents or actions are actually required to have a comprehensive estate plan. Many people find estate planning to be an unwelcome reminder of death. However, while you may want to avoid thinking about what happens after you pass away for as long as possible, there are real benefits to facing this challenge head-on now. For one, you will be able to live indefinitely with the peace of mind of knowing that no matter what happens, your loved ones will be cared for the way you want them to be. We can try to avoid estate planning, but we cannot avoid the risks that are inherent in life. Our next breath is never guaranteed, but once your estate plans are in order, you can at least breathe easier knowing that everything is in order and that your family will be provided for regardless of what happens next. In a sense, having an estate plan allows you to enjoy life without having a plan and without having to know what happens next. It is a security net that can exist while you live your best life.
Dangers of Procrastinating on Estate Planning
By avoiding estate planning, we are essentially gambling on whether we will ever make an estate plan. When you pass away without an estate plan in Florida, you have no say over how your assets are distributed. Your assets will be distributed in accordance with Florida intestate succession statutes by a probate court. The probate court process can be lengthy depending on the size and complexity of the estate, and the legal fees for the probate process are deducted from the estate, ultimately depleting the assets that can be distributed. Additionally, while probate court is ongoing, your loved ones may lack access to your assets, such as bank accounts, homes, and other resources that they relied on while you were alive. This can create a great hardship, as probate can often take several months or even over a year.
Benefits of Estate Planning Now
In addition to being able to ensure that your loved ones are cared for and have access to the assets and resources they need in your absence, developing an estate plan early may also have significant financial benefits. For instance, depending on the type of estate planning mechanisms that you elect to use, you may be able to shield assets from taxation. Certain trusts allow you to move even profit-generating income into them which avoids taxation on both the asset and the profits it generates. The sooner you take advantage of structures like this, the bigger cost savings it will have. Estate planning also allows you to ensure that your assets, including any businesses, are protected and have plans in place for operating without you.
Talk to an Experienced Florida Trusts and Estates Lawyer
If you are in need of an estate plan or would like assistance in developing an estate plan that is right for you and your family, contact the experienced Miami trusts and estates attorneys at the SG Law Firm and schedule a consultation today.