Why Do I Need an Estate Plan?

Why Do I Need an Estate Plan?

An estate plan is a set of legal documents that directs the disbursement of your property after death.  Everyone needs an estate plan because it ensures your wishes are followed after your death. It also prevents your family from having to make difficult decisions and saves them from unnecessary expenses.

And it allows you to appoint someone you trust to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so, otherwise the state of Florida determines the distribution of your assets.  This planning can aid not only at the end of your life but in the event of an emergency as well.

Avoid Intestacy with an Estate Plan

If a deceased person (decedent) executed a valid will during the decedent’s lifetime that is still in force at the decedent’s death, the decedent died testate, and their probate assets are distributed under the terms of the will.

If the decedent did not have a valid will at death, the decedent is said to have died intestate. When a decedent dies intestate, the decedent’s probate property passes under the intestacy statutes which means the decedent has no control over how their property is distributed.

What Is Probate and Why Should I Avoid It?

Probate in Florida is a judicial process for identifying and gathering the assets of a decedent, paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the decedent’s assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries.

Since the probate process is governed by Florida statutes, it entails filing legal documents and can even include court hearings the entire process can be lengthy and expensive.  Probate can be avoided through appropriate estate planning.