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Avoiding Common Estate Missteps

Many Florida residents may have put off estate planning because they find it intimidating or overwhelming. Although crafting an estate plan can be a rather dry activity, it is absolutely essential for those who anticipate leaving assets to loved ones or other parties. Probate attorneys throughout the state have seen scores of individuals make serious mistakes with their estate plans; you do not have to be one of them. Today, we will discuss common misconceptions and errors that occur within estate plans, providing you with the information you need to craft the best document for your situation.

Some Floridians think they are too young to need an estate plan. That can be a huge mistake. Yes, even healthy Americans in their 30s are known to pass away – what happens if you have not made any provisions for your spouse and children? Your will is much more than a document that will help your family divide up your property; it can also provide information about your last medical wishes, determining how you will be treated after a catastrophic accident. All adults can benefit from a comprehensive estate plan that is thoroughly reviewed by an attorney and financial planner. You are never too young to plan for the future.

The movies tell us that wills are generally read in an attorney’s office just hours after the benefactor passes away. Remember, however, that we are not in a Hollywood drama; communicating about your estate plan with your beneficiaries is critical. Be sure to tell your beneficiaries exactly what they stand to inherit. Early communication can prevent confrontations later.

Finally, be sure to consider the effect that taxes will have on your estate. Many people fail to realize that an estate plan can actually save their heirs a significant amount in federal and state tax burdens. Proper planning can ensure that your beneficiaries receive the correct assets in a timely fashion, providing a less-stressful experience for everyone involved.

Source:, “5 common estate planning mistakes to avoid” Mandi Woodruff, Oct. 21, 2013

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