Estate planning can involve taking several crucial steps to deal with present-day situations and issues that come up after one’s passing. A will remains an essential document in most Florida estate plans, and there are other contracts and decisions to consider.
Starting with an estate plan
Sitting down to determine what assets one possesses and deciding who receives the assets in a will are two fundamental steps. Not everyone realizes that crafting a living revocable trust is an option. This trust could allow assets to transfer out of probate, potentially eliminating the need for probate.
Some may be unaware of transfer on death, or TOD, accounts that won’t involve probate. Naming a beneficiary on a TOD financial account makes the beneficiary the new owner after the primary’s death. Real estate deeds indicating “joint tenants with rights of survivorship” allow property, such as houses or condos, to transfer outside of probate.
Not all components of estate planning involve what happens after someone dies. Power of attorney designations transfer decision-making powers to a stated agent. Planning may involve drawing up a financial and health care-oriented power of attorney.
Additional matters related to estate planning
Settling tax obligations may fall onto the surviving beneficiaries. Even if the estate is below the tax threshold, there might be other taxes that the decedent owes. Creditors could also have claims on money owed. Putting together an informational packet for heirs may help them prepare for any obligations.
Estate planning might also include information ranging from online account passwords to storage rental lock combinations. Ultimately, ensuring that surviving relatives have enough information at their disposal to deal with estate matters helps.
An estate planning attorney may assist those wishing to be thorough with their will, trust and other helpful documents. The attorney may review or write documents for a client to ensure that their wishes are fulfilled and their beneficiaries are protected.