Why Do We Need Estate Plans? What Happens If Someone Dies Without An Estate Plan Or A Will?
We need estate plans so that we can control who’s going to be in charge of our assets when we pass away, how our children and loved ones will be cared for when we pass away, and so we understand how and when our assets are going to be distributed after our deaths. This is important for a number of reasons. We want to make sure that people are taken care of. We want to make sure our estates are maximized so that the most amount of money is kept in the estate for our heirs. We also want to make sure that we take care to account for any disabled children so that they can continue to receive any benefits that they might be getting from the government to assist them.
In order to complete a good estate plan, we’ll have an all-encompassing look at these things. It’s not simply one document done at one time. We’re looking at it over a long period of time, trying to account for all the possible scenarios that could pop up in the future. If you die without an estate plan, known as dying intestate, the probate system takes over. If you have a will, you would still go into probate. What would happen is you go into probate, if you have a will, and your estate is handled by the personal representative. However, the judge is still in charge of your estate, so you have a third party controlling how your estate is ultimately distributed.
I Already Have A Power Of Attorney. Do I Really Need An Estate Plan?
A power of attorney is a valid document and it’s very important to have, but it does not take the place of an estate plan. It’s important to realize that upon your passing, your power of attorney becomes null and void and no longer has any effect for the people to whom you granted those powers. A power of attorney acts to provide you with an agent, who can assist you during your lifetime. A will only take effect after your passing. The power of attorney is only a small part of your estate plan, which should include, depending on the route you want to go, a trust, a will, a power of attorney (both financial and medical), and various documents dealing with how you want things resolved after your death.
I Don’t Really Have Much For My Children To Inherit. Do I Still Need To Plan For My Death?
Many times, smaller estates can benefit greatly from having an estate plan. The reason for this is probate can be costly. There are filing fees, probate taxes, and there can be disputes that arise between beneficiaries, which can very quickly dissipate a small estate. A properly drafted estate plan can provide a small estate the opportunity to maximize distribution to the beneficiaries, all the while keeping harmony within the family and making sure that assets pass as the decedent wished. While it is true that you would have to pay some money upfront to create your estate plan, the reality is it will probably save your estate in the long run.
How Often And Why Should People Give Their Estate Plan A Checkup?
If you’ve had a major life event, consider giving your estate plan a checkup. This could include a spousal illness, a diagnosis of dementia, having grandkids, or having a child who’s become disabled. Those are all very large events that can greatly impact what’s going to happen with your estate after you pass away. One of these cases, for example, would be a beneficiary who you intended to leave money to ending up with an addiction of some kind. You want to make sure that they aren’t able to squander the money first and second, you want to make sure that they aren’t able to do anything injurious to themselves or others.
I think it is a good idea every couple of years to look over your beneficiaries and fiduciaries and determine if they’re still the people you want. Another scenario that occurs is that when an estate plan is done, there are minor children. As those children age, we want to change the plan and have them serve as the successor trustees or personal representatives. A good rule of thumb is to take a look at your estate plan every couple of years or any time there’s been a big life event.
For more information on Need For Estate Planning In Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (941) 706-0632 today.
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