Any Florida resident who wants to avoid having the state make important decisions about the distribution of his or her property after death can draft estate-planning documents. That will also spare that person's loved ones the burden of complicated decision-making after his or her death. Knowing that one's estate planning is taken care of can be liberating and give peace of mind.
When families in Florida are joined in second or third marriages, blended families are formed. Along with the excitement and adjustments to get used to the new dynamics with children of both spouses, and potential children together, estate planning is sometimes forgotten. Every blended family is different and has unique estate planning needs to address. The best place to start may be a prenuptial agreement that is probably the most effective way of protecting the children of each spouse while also defining each spouse's financial responsibilities and rights in the marriage.
The unpredictability of life is likely what motivates people in Florida to create advanced directives. This is typically done as part of a person's estate planning. The purpose of advanced directives is to provide a way for people to document their wishes related to health care and medical treatment when they can no longer make those decisions on their own.
When a person dies, his or her spouse has certain rights to the deceased person's assets. These rights are governed by the inheritance law of the state and might override the contents of a will. In Florida, a surviving spouse who was disinherited might be entitled to a share of the property of the deceased spouse.
When parents pass away, their surviving children sometimes discover unpaid debts of which they were unaware. This often leaves the question of whether children in Florida are responsible for the debts of their deceased parents. The answer to this depends on the types of debts and whose name they are in -- and then there are often exceptions to any rules.
Some company owners feel comfortable with the thought that their businesses are their retirement plans and their children will take over upon their deaths. Unfortunately, too many companies in Florida end up having to close their doors because proper succession planning was not done. To make sure nothing is left unaddressed, the services of estate planning lawyers, along with other professionals may be necessary.
Some people procrastinate when it comes to estate planning because it all seems so confusing. What is the difference between a will and a trust, and should they draft as a will or establish a trust? Florida residents may learn that just about every person needs a will, and having a trust in addition to a will has some advantages.
There is often no shortage of advice from friends and family in conversations about estate planning. Residents of Florida who have related questions may find more value in the advice provided by professionals. Living trusts are often recommended, but different factors must be considered before creating such a trust.
The entire process of a divorce is typically taxing, and the stress will likely continue to escalate for a while after it is finalized. At the start of a newly single Florida resident's future, there may be debts, decrees and deeds to implement, retitle and reorganize as one's post-divorce life is established. In some cases, these tasks are so overwhelming that updating estate plans are left unaddressed.
Hiring someone to create an estate plan, trust or last will is always a smart move. By committing your desires to paper and having them legally verified, you can reduce the risk of issues with your estate.