After years of planning well for your own future and those you love, financial security is a pride and comfort for you. If the unimaginable were to happen, you would not want to lose the peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones that those years of planning have given you. It’s time to start thinking of estate planning, and there are numerous ways to do that in Florida. Before considering how to manage your estate planning, you need to understand what estate planning does. It protects loss of your hard-earned assets due to such things as taxes, fees for nursing homes, and probate courts. It allows you to enlist a trustee so that all of your assets can be maintained and managed by someone who has earned your trust and confidence. It prevents the judicial system from forcing you into legal or medical decisions that are undesirable to you. This ensures your autonomy and independence in your golden years. Estate planning gives you the assurance that your assets will be disbursed according to your personal wishes upon your demise so that you never need to worry that your assets will be withheld from your chosen heirs or beneficiaries by others whom you do not wish to have access to your bequest. The big question you may be asking now is how to pursue estate planning in Florida.
A good place for you to start is by finding a local chapter of the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils. For example, just searching online quickly in Florida, you will find the Central Florida Association of Estate Planners and Councils. The national site has a number of resources for your perusal. You can find specific information for men’s issues and women’s issues, estate planning, estate administration, disability planning, illness planning, elder care, charitable giving, assigning an inheritance, setting up a trust, family care, health care, business management, education, homeowner’s insurance, automobile insurance, and many others. They will walk you through estate planning ideas for different age-ranges throughout your life. With this resource, you can begin to understand a few of the key points of estate planning, and from there, you will gain an idea of what you hope to accomplish in your later years. There are many more issues at stake though, and it is highly recommended that you do not attempt to handle all of your estate planning needs alone. You will, of course, want to discuss your preliminary plans with those who will be affected by whatever plans you implement: you heirs, your benefactors, your trustees, and, of course, your spouse if you have one. You may want to consider speaking to your church or some of your favorite charities about what possible estate planning programs they have set up. Many non-profit organizations have specific departments to handle prospective estate planning florida issues, and these organizations would be glad to benefit from your assets. Many people choose to go this route, and set up an allotment of their assets to benefit a favorite animal rescue, medical research group, or soup kitchen. Consider where you want your money and assets to be spent in your life, and consider setting up a way to continue this upon your passing.`
Because estate planning is so complex, and Florida has its own set of laws and regulations governing estates, probates, inheritances, and bequests, you are advised to seek the counsel of an attorney who specializes in estate planning in Florida. Again, you can browse the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils for assistance in finding an attorney. You may also consider searching available attorneys through the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Incorporated. Both organizations have attorney lists by zip code on their web sites. But once you have a list of prospective attorneys, you need to know how to narrow down that list and choose the attorney who is right for you. Check with friends, relatives, and colleagues for a referral. Chances are, someone you know has an estate-planning attorney whom they would recommend to you. Ensure that the attorneys with whom you speak understand the state, federal, and local laws concerning your estate, and that they specialize in the right areas of law. This is very important, as you will not want your loved-ones and other benefactors to be burdened and short-changed because of an incompetent attorney. If possible, ask the attorney for permission to interview some of his or her satisfied clients. Many attorneys are willing to do this, as their satisfied clients are happy to discuss their satisfaction and give them an excellent referral. If you are not comfortable speaking directly to clients, there are several attorney rating websites available where you can read positive and negative reviews of the attorneys by their verified clientele. Have a list of issues that you foresee, items you most want to discuss, and things that you most desire to plan for. Make sure that you discuss fees associated with your estate planning, and consider the attorney as a long-term partner in this journey. With all of these things in place, your estate planning should go smoothly.