We know many things are overwhelming right now. Social distancing, confinement to our homes, and enforced isolation from friends and loved ones, are just a few things that immediately come to mind. We know that oftentimes the process of avoiding Florida probate can seem overwhelming and, of course, going through probate itself can be overwhelming as well. We find this holds true for most Floridians, even when you have a trusted attorney on your side.
Knowing the frustration that can come from probate is just one of the reasons why so many people are looking for ways that they can avoid it. Even if that process takes more effort than you originally thought during this time of quarantine, avoiding probate in Florida is not as simple as creating a will.
The truth is you need a Florida estate plan. This is very important at all times, but perhaps now more than ever. An estate plan is a way to really make sure that you are prepared for anything. This is because it consists of everything you need to lay out your intentions for important life events such as health issues, serious illnesses, incapacity, and even death.
When you work with your Florida attorney, he or she can help you better understand what you need. An estate plan in Florida often consists of:
- Last Will and Testament
- Trust Agreements
- Health Care Planning Documents such as Living Wills and HIPAA Forms
- Durable Powers of Attorney
- Letters of Intent
Each of these is a planning tool that can be incorporated into your Florida estate plan. By putting all of these things into place with an attorney you are going to ensure that you are doing all you can to be prepared for anything that might happen during your lifetime. Planning forward for your estate also makes sure that all involved, from family members to friends and even the probate court, know exactly what you want.
It is important for you to know, however, that a Florida estate plan that only includes a last will and testament will not avoid probate. This is simply because assets owned solely in your name at death require the probate process to retitle them to your name. By contrast, if you create a trust agreement with your Florida attorney, he or she will help you structure your estate so that your assets can flow through your trust at your death, outside of the probate process. This can allow your estate to not only save money and time at your passing, but maintain your privacy as the probate process is public in Florida.
No matter what we are facing as a nation right now, when it comes to preparing for the future the most important thing is to protect yourself and your family. By working with an experienced Florida attorney you will be able to create every piece of your estate plan, and develop what you truly wish for yourself and your legacy. Do not wait to contact us today, or at any point in the future to discuss your goals.