VanNess & VanNess, P.A.

How to create an adequate estate plan

Dying without a will is one of many potential estate planning mistakes a resident in Florida can make. When a person dies intestate, it can be more difficult for heirs to get their inheritances, and property could end up going to the wrong individuals. Even if a person does have a will as part of an estate plan, that plan should be examined on a regular basis.

Ideally, an estate plan will be reviewed after a major life event such as the birth of a child or a marriage. Otherwise, it should be looked at every five to seven years. Doing so can verify if certain documents are still needed. It can also be worthwhile to ensure that beneficiary designations are up to date. The use of a trust can be beneficial to those who have children or grandchildren from a previous marriage.

Life insurance policies can also be tools to help those who have remarried to provide for children from a previous marriage. As a general rule, individuals shouldn't try to create their own estate planning documents. This is because a document could need to be both properly written and properly executed to be considered valid under state law.

Creating a thorough estate plan now could reduce the chances of family disputes or other problems in the future. While the loss of a loved one can be a trying event under the best of circumstances, it can be even harder to find closure while battling in a probate court. Working with an attorney may be an effective way to create wills, trusts or other documents that may hold up to legal scrutiny.

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