Many people in Florida spend a great deal of their time and energy building their estates. For example, many homeowners invest a great deal of time and money into improving their property, often with the goal of being able to leave it to their children once they pass. Unfortunately, without a well-executed estate plan, wishes regarding the estate might not be fulfilled.
There are a variety of benefits of creating an estate plan, but the main ones for many people are related to their family. Without a plan in place, the decisions regarding division will be left to the court. Unfortunately, the court is likely unfamiliar with the decedent’s wishes, potentially resulting in decisions that are in line with state law rather than consideration of what the person would have wanted. The lack of a plan can also make issues more complicated for minor children.
The aftermath of the loss of a parent is an inherently stressful and emotional time. When issues of estate division are thrown into the mix, the stress level is heightened. In some cases, disagreements among siblings have resulted in lengthy, public court proceedings that impact family dynamics for years to come. By putting wishes into writing, the chances that a challenge occurs — especially a successful one — are reduced.
In addition to the many benefits of an estate plan, there are also many misconceptions. For example, some people in Florida believe that they do not need to go through the process if they do not have a large estate. However, having an appropriate plan in place can help beneficiaries and other relatives fully understand the wishes of the person and help ease the process of estate administration.