Why You Shouldn’t Leave Your Estate To The State Of Florida After Your Death
A common misconception about estate planning is that it is only something for the rich to be concerned with. If you do not have many assets, you may not see the need to go through the process of establishing a solid estate plan. You may falsely believe that for your small amount of assets and wealth that there should not be any issues having everything pass on to your beneficiaries. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.
Even if you only have little to pass on, it is likely that your specific wishes will not be honored without the right plan put in place. Also, if you do not have an estate plan that aims to avoid probate where possible, you are positioning your loved ones to have to endure a long and more expensive process for getting the inheritance you would like them to have after you pass on. Probate is the legal process of distributing an estate to specific individuals. In Florida, probate is governed by the Florida Probate Code, not necessarily by your wishes.
Residents of The Villages, Florida can trust the skilled legal guidance of The Villages estate planning attorneys at Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group for help putting an effective plan together based on your personal requirements.
Why Avoiding Probate in Florida is Essential
Most people who put time aside to go over their estate and plan for its future with respect to who will inherit it will typically do so in a strategic way that avoids probate. It is often thought that any type of document relating to end-of-life planning safeguards one’s wealth and possessions from conflict between loved ones and also keeps it out of the legal system. However, this is not the case. For example, if you only have a will in place, it is very possible that your assets may still be subject to probate.
Some examples of instances where your assets may not have to go through probate would include:
- Your living spouse has a joint account with you.
- Trusts have been established.
- An investment account has beneficiaries already named.
- Money from life insurance is received.
If you intend to have your assets distributed in a specific way, especially if you would like to avoid any potential disputes amongst loved ones, it is best to consult with an experienced estate planning lawyer. When you work with an attorney you can go over everything that you have, exactly who you want to inherit it, and how you want that process to go. Ultimately, establishing a plan that is calculated and tactical can accomplish much to avoid excess taxation and reduce the amount of time it takes for beneficiaries to get their inheritance.
Without a thoughtful approach to estate planning and if left without any type of sound instruction, the state of Florida will step in and decide how your wealth will be dispensed. This often results in your heirs having to deal with a stressful, lengthy, and drawn-out legal struggle to get their inheritance and that is not the only downfall of letting the state decide how to manage your assets. It is also possible that not everyone will get as much as you intended while others may not receive anything at all.
Speak with a Villages Estate Planning Attorney Today
The best interests of your heirs and the purposeful intentions you have for your estate will not be served well if the Florida probate system takes over. For help managing your estate plan or to put one together that incorporates all of the tools and techniques necessary to achieve your end-of-life objectives, please call The Villages estate planning lawyers at Millhorn Elder Law Planning Group today to schedule a free consultation at 800-743-9732.