VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

Tips for creating an estate plan

An estate plan is important for all Florida adults even if they do not have a large amount of assets. It can be important to family and loved ones who will be saved the stress of dealing with these details. An estate plan can also be used to help reduce family conflict. These may be over a particular piece of property, or they might be long-standing resentments around family dynamics. An estate planner may be able to assist a client in anticipating those conflicts and putting provisions in the estate plan that address them.

Good communication can be a part of reducing conflict that may occur after a person's death. If a person is not comfortable communicating directly with family members about aspects of the estate plan or family conflicts, there are other options. A legal or financial professional may explain how the estate is set up, or a person can create trusts that will protect assets. Regularly updating the estate plan is also important. Assets and family dynamics may change, and there will also be changes such as births and deaths.

For business owners, a business succession plan is important. A successful plan may take at least five years. The plan might be to have someone take it over or to sell it.

One advantage of estate planning is that it may offer solutions to some family problems. For example, if a person has a relative with special needs and is concerned about how that person will be cared for, a special needs trust can be set up that does not interfere with the person's government benefits.

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