Have you decided to create your Florida estate plan? When you pass away are you wanting to have your estate avoid a Florida probate? Is your plan to have only a last will and testament in order to avoid probate? Are you searching for tips and advice on how to avoid probate in Florida? We encourage you to keep reading our blog for tips and advice on how to avoid probate in Florida.

The first tip: Creating a Florida last will and testament is extremely important. However, your Florida last will and testament cannot be used to avoid probate. It cannot be used because your will is a set of written instructions for how your assets are to be distributed once you have passed away. Your personal representative will follow the written instructions in your will to distribute your assets. You selected your personal representative when you created your will. Your assets may include a house, a vehicle, bank or brokerage accounts or personal items. The important thing you need to know is that upon your passing your personal representative will be required to probate your will. Unfortunately probate takes time and, possibly, money from your estate. If you want to keep your assets out of probate you need to learn about and consider other estate planning tools.

The second tip: With the assistance of your Florida estate planning attorney you can add a trust to your estate plan to avoid probate. He may advise creating a revocable trust as a way to avoid putting your estate through probate. In addition to creating your trust, your Florida estate planning attorney will, most importantly, help you put all your current assets into your trust. Now that you have worked with your Florida estate planning attorney and created and funded your trust you may think you are done. That is definitely not correct. As time goes by, there may be many changes in your assets, you may sell some assets and acquire other assets. A good tip is that in order to avoid probate all changes in your assets must be reflected in your trust. Do not forget to put your new assets into your trust! The best advice we have for you is that only the assets in your trust will avoid probate. It is critical for you to remember that any other assets you may acquire, but forget or err to put into the trust, will have to go through probate.

The third tip: Be sure to have a plan in place to meet annually or biannually with your Florida estate planning attorney. We all know that our lives change, it almost seems daily. Because of all the changes, you and your attorney should review all your estate planning tools to make sure they are up-to-date. In addition, by keeping your estate plan up-to-date you will still accomplish your goal of having your estate avoid probate.

At the Perlin Estate Planning & Probate our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services. By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.