Everyone’s personal and financial estate plan is different. That is what makes the entire process so challenging, demanding, and even stressful. Thankfully, this sometimes-unpleasant task can be a lot easier if you have the help of an experienced and knowledgeable attorney.
These three steps can help you get the process started, and your estate planning lawyer can help you make your plan virtually flawless.
- Develop Your Estate Planning Goals.
Perhaps the hardest part of creating an estate plan is to develop what you want to accomplish with your scheme. You have a lot to consider when planning for your legacy. You may want to think about the following questions:
- Whom do you want to be sure you include?
- Do you need to consider complete support for someone or will your inheritance just be a helpful gift?
- Which assets need to be distributed?
- Should particular people get specific assets?
- Whom do you want to administer your estate?
- Do you have concerns about privacy?
- How will your estate affect your family dynamic?
- Are you concerned about minimizing tax obligations?
- If you own a business—how will your business be affected by your passing? Should it be addressed in your estate plan?
Deciding what you want to accomplish with your estate plan means considering the who, what, and why of everything you own and many people that you love. It can be somewhat overwhelming and may take time. It is a good idea to sit down and do some conscious analysis of what your estate will look like when you pass and how you want to pass down your legacy.
- Analyze and Discuss with a Professional.
The best way to ensure that you are going to accomplish your estate planning goals is to work through potential scenarios and options with an experienced professional. Your attorney will be able to examine your assets, review your goals, and craft a tailored estate plan to meet those objectives.
No one has the same estate plan, just like no one has the exact financial situation or legacy planning goals. Do not assume that something that works well for another person will fit your needs.
Unfortunately, many people fall into the trap of assuming they can use a ready-made plan off of the internet. Those plans do not specifically address your situation, and they certainly cannot consider the best options for your needs. Instead, a professional will be able to help you create a package of estate planning tools to create a great plan. These tools may include a will, a power of attorney, trust instruments, or even insurance policies.
- Review and Revise.
As your life changes, you may need to adjust your estate plan so that it continues to meet your needs. For example, if you welcome a new grandchild into the world, you may need to adjust the assets or funds that you are providing to each child or even the grandchildren individually. You may also need to adjust individuals whom you have named as guardians or as an executor if some change should affect those people as well.
It is a good idea to do a periodic review of your estate plan to ensure that you do not need to make any changes. Most estate planning attorneys will suggest a review once per year, but you should be sure to review your plan any time your family situation changes as well.
Using a Florida Estate Planning Attorney
You may not realize which type of estate planning documents will work best for your situation. It is essential to keep in mind that proper estate planning often goes far beyond crafting a simple will. Having an experienced estate planning attorney to help you with this process will increase the likelihood that your plan will be upheld if it is challenged—saving your loved ones significant time, money, and stress after you have passed.
If you are ready to start the estate planning process, involve the team at the France Law Firm. Call today to schedule a consultation.