No matter your reason for wanting to start estate planning, it is wise that you do so. Even if you think that your family might know what you want to happen with your remaining assets, having an official and legally binding plan in place can go a long way in ensuring that your wishes are honored.
It is important to keep in mind that estate planning is an ongoing process. Even after you have documents in place, it is essential that you continue to review and update those documents every few years to avoid errors that could cause serious trouble and confusion later on.
How to start
Though many people may consider themselves procrastinators, procrastinating when it comes to financial planning and getting your affairs in order is a significant mistake. Delaying making plans could result in you not having important information in place when you need it, and this can include in situations that could arise before your passing, such as needing someone to make medical decisions on your behalf.
Additionally, you may think that because you do not have a big family, your loved ones can decide who gets what, but Florida intestate succession laws will come into play if you do not have a will, which may not distribute your assets as specifically as you may have liked.
Updating your documents
Once you get your documents in place, you may feel a sense of accomplishment, and you certainly should. You would find yourself among the minority percentage of people who actually create a will and other estate planning documents. Still, you may want to ensure that you do not fall victim to any of the following errors that come from not updating your documents:
- Having different people named in the will and as direct beneficiaries for the same asset
- Having outdated information in your will or having beneficiaries named who have already passed or are otherwise unable to obtain property
- Creating a trust but not titling assets to that trust
- Having life insurance but not creating a life insurance trust, which could mean your estate faces taxation, depending on the size of your life insurance policy
Taking the first steps of estate planning can set you on an important journey. It may seem difficult at times, but it can be a rewarding and beneficial process for you and your family.