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estate planning Archives

Estate planning for hard assets may require detailed planning

The baby boomer generation will be engaging in one of the largest transfers of wealth in the country's history in the coming years. This has created a great need for estate planning to direct the passing of wealth in the precise ways that a person desires. Each person and each family in Florida have a unique story and a unique history that a person will want to preserve and honor.

Estate planning includes certain valuable legal protections

Estate planning in Florida is an important task that can put some powerful tools into one's personal arsenal for the retirement years and beyond. The traditional last will and testament serves to designate how one's assets will be distributed and specifies other vital directives to take place after one dies. One kind of tool in estate planning that is arguably as important in its own right is the durable power of attorney.

Estate planning maximizes life insurance proceeds to beneficiary

The question of life insurance often arises in Florida and elsewhere when planning an estate. The usual estate planning rule is that the death proceeds of a life insurance policy should be passed on to a beneficiary listed in the policy or an attachment to it. That specified beneficiary will receive the proceeds directly from the insurance company without it being subject to estate administration through the probate court.

Estate planning can make a difficult time easier for loved ones

Writing a will is not necessarily a happy task. Though death is inevitable, few people really want to contemplate it in Florida. Failure to contemplate estate planning long enough to write a will can result in an even more painful task for one's heirs, who may have to guess at one's last wishes and deal with the hassles and expense of making those wishes happen. According to AARP, two out of five Americans older than 45 do not have a will or trust in place.

Estate planning does not have to be an expensive process

Dying without a will in Florida and other states is called being intestate. A person who dies with a will is said to have been testate. However, it may be said that a person already has a will, but it is one that was drawn up by the state in which the person resided at death. That is because, if one dies intestate, the state has already engaged in a bit of experimental estate planning on the decedent's behalf; each state has a set of intestate laws that dictate to whom and in what percentages the decedent's assets are to be distributed when there is no will.

Estate planning and legacy planning join for greater fulfillment

Estate planning is a vital service for Florida residents, but it is often viewed as a dreary subject dealing solely with what happens after death. Many people tend to put off estate planning for the very reason that they do not wish to dwell on that inescapable end-of-life event. Truth be told, the process actually involves far more in lifetime benefits to the person than that narrow perspective would indicate.

How to manage digital assets in estate planning

The internet is becoming increasingly ingrained in daily life, yet many people don't consider what will happen to their online assets and accounts after they pass away. For many Florida residents, estate planning should include a clear online of what should happen to digital properties should one become incapacitated or pass away. This includes listing online accounts, providing passwords and naming an individual to manage these digital assets.

Estate planning may include instructions for final arrangements

In Florida and elsewhere, funeral arrangements and similar details are not usually included in an individual's will. Such matters are secondary to the legal issues contained in the will, and it can be problematic to include such information. Furthermore, the will is often not obtained and read until after the funeral so that it is counterproductive in estate planning to use the will to convey information about funeral, religious services or burial instructions.

Estate planning through a professional precludes costly mistakes

Florida baby boomers and their nationwide counterparts are currently engaging in a massive transfer of wealth as they pass on their assets to the younger generations. The increase in the lifetime federal estate and gift tax exemption is facilitating that transfer and creating a favorable environment for keeping substantial wealth within the family. However, in a country where more than half of adults don't have a will, the failure to engage in basic estate planning can be a costly miscalculation.

Estate planning after a divorce is important for many reasons

Many estate planning attorneys, including here in Florida, recommend that their clients who have completed a divorce action should meet with the attorney after the divorce to go over various important planning issues. One important reason is that a thorough review of all beneficiary designations is critical at that point in time. Many policies and pay on death accounts may still have the former spouse's name on them as the beneficiary. Other factors may contribute to the need to review the estate planning landscape. 

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