Drafting an estate plan is not just something the elderly in Florida should do. Many young married couples should also consider estate planning. This is because when it comes to estate planning tools, such as a life insurance policy or retirement account, beneficiaries can be named that will receive the funds from those assets should the policy holder pass away. Many of these assets can be very valuable (sometimes they are a person's most valuable assets), meaning it's very important that an appropriate beneficiary is chosen.
The holiday season is upon us, and for many in Florida, the holidays are about spending time with their loved ones. While many people in Florida are focused on gift-giving and other acts of generosity this time of the year, one important gift they can give their loved ones is the gift of estate planning.
Families these days come in all shapes and sizes. For example, many people in Florida may know someone who has divorced and then remarried, or may even be on their second or subsequent marriage themselves. In fact, Pew Research reports that 42 percent of those over age 18 in the United States are part of a step-relationship, whether they are a stepparent or a stepchild. When one throws children into the mix with a second spouse, it creates an interesting dynamic when it comes to estate planning.
Anxious to stay one step ahead of "old man winter," it's that time of year when people living in northern states start flocking to Florida to spend the winter months living in a more pleasant climate. While these "snow birds" have set up residences in two states, one up north where the summers are cool and one down south where the winters are warm, it should be noted that living in more than one state can present unique issues when it comes to estate planning.
Many people in Florida may want to pass on an inheritance to a loved one, but they may be concerned about how their loved one would handle such a windfall, especially if they come into it at a young age. In situations like this, a person may want to consider an incentive trust.
It seems like every death of a celebrity these days winds up in a plethora of unanswered inheritance intentions and probate litigation as heirs fight over what they feel is rightfully theirs. Sometimes, a person in Davie thinks this will never happen to them, as they have only a modest estate. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Estate planning is for anyone, of any means, who has some opinion about how their final affairs should be handled.
Planning for your future can mean a wide variety of things to different people. For those in their 20s, it is likely that they are thinking about college, professional schools and what career field they want to work in. Those in their 30s are thinking about buying a house and starting a family. The 40s and 50s are about making life changes, such as career changes, buying a bigger home or going on vacation. And, once a person hits 60, they are thinking about retirement. What retirement age signals to many is that it is time to draft an estate plan. However, it is never too early to start the estate planning process, and it is something that residents of Florida should consider in their 20s and 30s.
One of the most important things to take into consideration during your estate planning is not just what to do with your assets and property, but what to do with you if you find yourself with a catastrophic injury or illness that renders you incapacitated and unable to communicate. What type of healthcare do you want to receive if you are facing serious, potentially life-altering conditions?
As we wake up and go through each day, the last thing on our minds is our ultimate and inevitable demise. Unfortunately, no one lives forever, and each day could be our last. One never knows when an accident or catastrophic injury or illness could spring up.
The last thing people want to think about is their death. But like the late, great Benjamin Franklin once told us, there are only two certainties in life, death and taxes. While most of us think of taxes every time we make a purchase, and every quarter when taxes are due, we generally do not think about death very often. But it will happen.