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Quick tips for building your Florida estate plan

If you are one of the scores of Floridians who has put off creating your estate plan, you are not alone. In fact, scores of other baby boomers like yourself have waited to draft these important documents, sometimes with dire consequences. It is never too early to think about estate planning, which can make a noticeable difference in facilitating a smooth transition after your death. Many financial experts even view estate planning as an act of love - you would not want your beneficiaries to end up paying extra taxes, for example. Today, we bring some tips on building a proper estate plan, no matter your life stage.

Before you embark on your estate planning journey, consider choosing someone to legally represent you in case you are incapacitated. This person, who is said to have power of attorney, is also approved to act for you legally with regard to financial matters. In many instances, people will choose their adult children to act in this capacity, but others can also serve in this role.

The most critical document in a modern estate plan is the will. Although this may seem obvious, a shocking number of Floridians still have not drafted this important plan. Even people with millions of dollars wait too long to draft their wills, causing confusion and strife after they pass. In addition to your will, an estate planner might recommend that you consider using trusts to transfer assets after your death. There are many different trusts for a variety of situations; consulting with qualified legal and financial professionals can help you choose the right trust for your needs.

Other considerations that should be detailed in your estate plan include a document that explains your health care wishes. Those who are drafting their estate plans should also make sure that all of their assets are appropriately titled for easy transfer after their death. Estate plans do not have to be complicated or difficult. Failing to create this necessary document can wreak havoc on your family after you pass, however; it is truly an act of love to make sure your financial affairs are in order.

Source: www.marketwatch.com, "5 estate-plan strategies for boomers" Andrea Coombes, Nov. 29, 2013

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