Individuals of substantial means often realize the importance of an estate plan. That said, assumptions that a person with a smaller net worth wouldn’t benefit from estate planning could be both false and disastrous. Florida residents may find that estate planning helps them in several unexpected ways. These ways might be “unexpected” because the person doesn’t know the full scope of how estate planning works.
Little-known aspects of estate planning
A last will and testament might be the most well-known component of estate planning. A person with few assets may not think that he or she needs a will and never discusses estate planning with an attorney. The person may even avoid performing online research. What if the person finds him or herself in a severe auto accident, resulting in a brain function loss? Who will make medical decisions for them? A living will and a health care proxy reflect two estate planning documents that address health care.
A person might not be facing life-threatening injuries, but a lengthy hospital stay and other recovery concerns could make handling routine financial duties difficult. Was power of attorney awarded to a trusted individual who could manage financial matters? For that matter, what happens when a young person lacks the understanding of taxes, investments and other financial concerns and responsibilities? Maybe a trusted agent-in-fact could take these things over.
Estate planning involves many documents and tasks. These documents benefit not only older citizens near the end of their lives but people of all ages with any size of estate.
The value of a will
A person with assets of any kind could benefit from a will. A young person with a car, a new home and many personal belongings would leave such property “intestate” if he or she died without a will. That means the state’s laws would factor into the division of assets.
Drawing up a will allows the testator to choose how assets end up divided while also making other directives. Anyone with children could make statements regarding guardianship of the minors, for example.
Discussing estate planning with an attorney may be worthwhile for individuals who have never done it before or who haven’t updated their estate plan in many years. An attorney may work with a client to devise an appropriate estate plan or update.