Key Items to Include in Your New Year’s Estate Planning Checklist
Are you recovering from your holidays and starting to think about your New Year’s resolutions? Are you looking forward to beginning the work on your resolutions? Did you make one of your resolutions this year to create a Florida estate plan? Good for you! Let us help you get started.
With your estate plan you can protect yourself both during life and at the time of your death. We recommend that you begin now and work with a qualified Florida estate planning attorney. Are you aware that your Florida estate plan can protect you while you are living and then your estate when you pass away? In addition, your Florida estate planning attorney can ensure your choices for your health care and finances are honored by your chosen decision maker and he will show you how to make sure that your family will be provided for when you are no longer here with them.
Now, if you have an estate plan, that is great news! Remember, though, it is important that your plan currently reflects your wishes for yourself and your loved ones. As you may know, it is amazing how in one year many changes can happen within your family, your business, and your finances. Therefore, it is important to make sure your estate plan reflects those changes and remains effective in not only summarizing the desired future for you and your loved ones, but also has the best tools in place to accomplish those goals.
Are you wondering how to start? We have some key items for you to add to your New Year’s estate planning checklist to think about. Use them to refer to as you work on your Florida estate plan in the new year.
1. There have been changes to my immediate family. Some of my family have changed their names and addresses. Could that impact my estate plan? Yes! Whenever there is a birth, death, divorce, or other life update, make it a priority to work with your Florida estate planning attorney to determine if your estate plan needs any updates or significant changes.
2. Should I find out if there have been any changes in the laws that could impact my estate plan? Absolutely! Your Florida estate planning attorney stays up to date with all the latest information that could impact your legal planning and can make recommendations if your current plan needs to be updated or changed.
3. If I do not have an estate plan of any kind, am I really unprotected? Yes. First of all, if you were suddenly incapacitated due to an accident or surgery or as a result of a diagnosis of a disease, who would make your health care decisions? If you never took the time to create an estate plan the court in Florida may be required to appoint someone to act on your behalf in order for there to be legal authority. This can be time consuming, costly, and public. Right now, all of this can be avoided by completing your estate plan while you have the capacity to do so. Your Florida estate plan will employ a variety of legal planning tools to address how your assets will be managed and distributed in the event of your incapacity or death.
4. Begin as soon as possible to create your Florida estate plan. You want to be able to maximize the potential benefits a Florida estate plan has to offer and it is important for you to put your plan in place as soon as possible. Your work on this New Year’s resolution will bring peace of mind to not only your family, but to you as well.
5. Having a qualified Florida estate planning attorney is very important in the creation of a comprehensive estate plan. Your attorney will discuss with you the importance of lifetime planning. He will describe various tools, such as the durable power of attorney for your finances. He can help you choose your decision maker, as well as a backup decision maker, for times of crisis. He can also discuss with you the difference between will based estate planning and trust based estate planning.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. We want to help you achieve the New Year’s Resolution of having a Florida estate plan that can meet your needs. When your family or financial health is on the line, trust attorney Paul Riffel to help you protect your interests and achieve your goals. Attorney Paul Riffel has been practicing law in Florida for over 40 years, focusing in the areas of Tampa estate planning and family law. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.