Some people understand the importance of estate planning early in life. Perhaps they are compelled to visit an estate planning attorney following the birth of their first child, or they have had experience with a loved one who died leaving an estate in disarray. Unfortunately, most people in Florida or elsewhere do not take those early steps to establish an estate plan while they are still young. This can lead to negative consequences for those left behind.
Thinking about the future and preparing for the often frightening possibilities ahead takes courage. It means facing one's own mortality and contemplating issues beyond how to distribute one's belongings. When Florida residents make time and effort to create an estate plan, it is usually after careful consideration. Unfortunately, because creating the plan was so stressful, some make the critical error of neglecting to revisit it periodically to ensure it is still effective.
Pets are often beloved members of the family, participating in family vacations, posing in holiday portraits and taking their places in the hearts of every member of the household. As owners grow older, however, they may begin to wonder how to ensure the well-being of their animals after the owner's death. In Florida, as in most states, pets cannot inherit money from a deceased owner's estate. This is why many people provide for their pets using their estate plan.
Many in Florida and around the world are discovering the convenience and flexibility of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other virtual wallets allow people to control their financial transactions without going through a bank. However, since no bank manages the accounts, those who invest in cryptocurrency must keep track of their own holdings. Additionally, because cryptocurrency accounts can be managed anonymously, they may be lost if they are not included in one's estate plan.
The steps one takes to prepare a business for the future are similar to the steps one takes to prepare one's family for the future. Leaving these to chance means placing family or business at risk of meeting difficult times and perhaps serious financial struggles. For a business, it may even mean its demise if its owner does not take the time to make an estate plan.
Few people care to dwell on the possibility that they may become seriously ill or incapacitated at some point in their lives. While many would desire that any means be taken to preserve their lives, some have clear convictions about how they want to die and the care they do not desire at that time. For those in Florida who have made firm decisions about the ends of their lives, estate planning is important for making those wishes clear. One element of estate planning that would most benefit them is a health care directive.
People who do estate planning may be the kind who place the well-being of their families before their own good. Creating an estate plan means providing security and reducing the burden on loved ones. However, without meaning to, many in Florida overlook some crucial elements without which their families may face heart-wrenching decisions.
There is a tax reform plan on the table that could, if passed, bring changes to what is known as the death tax. If this measure passes, it will eliminate this particular tax, yet some people may think that this eliminates the need for a strong estate plan. Regardless of what happens in Congress and to federal tax laws, Florida readers know that good estate planning still makes good sense.
When most people think of estate planning, divorce is not a part of the picture. For most people, the estate planning phase is when they try to ensure that their spouse will get most of their assets. In some cases, however, it is necessary to try to keep the spouse from getting them. In Florida, as in other states, special care should be taken when divorce figures into an estate plan.
For most, the thought of making financial plans for the future is a terrifying one. For others, estate planning consists of buying life insurance, and hoping it is enough to get their loved ones through the financial difficulties could come when they are deceased. The truth is, neither of these is true. For those in Florida who are facing the daunting task of planning their financial futures, the most overlooked step is anticipating risks and working to prevent them.