Putting together an estate plan, while tedious, is a great tool for people who want to ensure that their loved ones are taken care of after their passing. A proper estate plan ensures that the people closest to you reap the benefits of the things you worked your whole life for after you are gone. Residents of Florida who are putting together their estate plans should ask themselves some of the following questions before making things official.
What property is included in your estate?
Every asset that you own is a part of your estate, and something will happen to it after you are gone. Before you begin putting together your estate plan, you should sit down and make a list of all of your assets. This list should include homes, plots of land, retirement accounts, and anything else that belongs to you and that carries monetary value.
What debt is in your estate?
Many people incorrectly assume that their debts die when they do. However, your creditors still expect payment even if you aren’t alive to provide it. In addition to your list of assets, you should compile a list of any debts that you owe because they will need to be accounted for when distributing your estate.
Who do you want to have your property?
Your final list should include everyone to who you want to leave assets upon your death. There are no laws that dictate that relatives are the only people allowed to be included in an estate, so you can make provisions for friends and even charities that you hold dear. Once this list is provided, you can begin assigning assets to each beneficiary.
To ensure that your estate plan is legally binding, you should find an attorney who is familiar with your state’s laws regarding estate planning. This attorney can review your lists of assets, debts, and heirs and can help you ensure that your desires for your estate are carried out.