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VanNess & VanNess, P.A.
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Avoiding abuse by creating a thorough estate plan

According to Wells Fargo, people in Florida and throughout the United States should have a will. They should also have both financial and health care powers of attorney in addition to a health care advance directive. Those who already have those documents in place should review them on a regular basis to be sure that they still meet their needs. While creating or reviewing an estate plan can seem overwhelming, it is possible to do so in small chunks.

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.

Prince heirs still waiting to collect money from estate

According to a news report, the heirs of former rock star Prince have not yet received their inheritances. Prince had an estate worth approximately $200 million when he died. Florida residents may be interested in learning that Prince never established an estate plan. He never even wrote out his last will and testament. Consequently, settling the estate is stalled by the fact that the executor does not agree with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding the estate's actual value.

How to create a proper estate plan

Florida residents may not like the thought of reviewing their estate plans; for many people, thinking about their deaths isn't a pleasant experience. However, failing to review an estate plan could result in gaps that make it harder for a person to have his or her final instructions carried out. By reviewing an estate plan regularly, individuals can be sure that their beneficiary designations are up to date.

Modern estate plans include access to digital assets

Email accounts, social media profiles and cryptocurrency are just some of the more common digital assets for people in Florida. Someone building an estate plan should include information about how to access online data because finding passwords after a death can prove difficult for heirs. To start the process, an estate holder should write a list of all online accounts and their login credentials.

Plan ahead to help loved ones grieve

Even the healthiest Pennsylvania residents know they will eventually pass away. Loved ones left without clear directions may have difficulty in determining the way forward regarding assets and belongings of the deceased. With even limited estates, it is common for surviving relatives to have extended disagreements regarding distribution of assets. A carefully considered estate plan can eliminate confusion, prevent squabbles and help loved ones grieve by knowing the exact wishes of deceased loved ones.

Handling spousal debts after death

People in Florida may be wondering how best to care for and protect their spouses after they pass away, especially with the many estate planning options available. One concern that many have is how debts will be handled after their death. There is a great deal of confusion about what, if any, liability a surviving spouse may have for their late partner's debts.

Errors to avoid in an estate plan

While a Florida resident may have an estate plan, that plan may not necessarily be effective. For example, the estate plan could be missing some components. In addition to a will, an estate holder should consider financial and health care powers of attorney that appoint someone to manage finances and health in case of incapacitation.

Organization is key in life and death

Florida residents and others may make it easier to settle an estate by being organized. This is true of both the physical estate and the legal or financial documents that are part of it. Instead of letting items accumulate over time, it may be a good idea to have a regular cleaning session. This may prevent children or other family members from having to inventory possessions while also trying to grieve.

How trusts benefit children of all ages

There is no magic age at which an individual in Florida or elsewhere becomes competent enough to handle money or other assets. Therefore, there may be no harm in leaving assets to an adult child in a trust as opposed to transferring them directly to that older son or daughter. By leaving assets in a trust, it can protect them from creditors or from being included in a divorce settlement.

VanNess & VanNess, P.A.