Do you have a Florida estate plan? When should you start estate planning in Florida?  Be aware that a Florida estate plan is a critical tool for all adult Floridians to have. Estate planning is more than what happens at the end of our lives, it also allows us to plan and make decisions about what we want for ourselves, our loved ones, our business, and our legacy. Estate planning also has us answer the tough questions including, but not limited to, what would we want to have happen if we no longer have the capacity we need to make our own decisions?

The first step in estate planning is to understand your need for a plan for your future. The next step may be to ask, when to begin or at what age should you begin to plan your estate? As estate planning attorneys, this is a question we are frequently asked and we want to share five key ideas with you. 

  1. You have reached the age of majority. Believe it or not, your 18th birthday is not too young! You need to realize that once you turn 18, there is no one who has legal authority to make decisions for you in the event you are in a car accident or other crisis unless you have an estate plan in place. What does that mean?  It means that no one will be able to pay your bills, access your bank accounts, or talk to your doctors. Your Florida estate planning attorney will work with you to create an estate plan that will protect you and put the trusted people who you want in charge of you in a crisis in place. Your Florida estate planning attorney will also talk to you about how to create a legacy and plan for a time when you are no longer here.
  1. You are married. Getting married is a big event and a life changing situation for you both. It is a time to think about how you want to protect and provide for each other now and in the future. There is no better way to do that than with you both creating a Florida estate plan.  
  1. You are now a parent.  A Florida estate plan becomes even more critical when you have children, especially minor children. Who should care for them if something happens to you? When should they inherit? How can you provide for their future if you are no longer here? These are the questions your estate plan can answer when you work with your Florida estate planning attorney. 
  1. You have received an inheritance. Be aware that whether you are coming into a small or large inheritance, it is important to protect it. The person who left you this money may have had clear instructions for you that you want to copy or you may have inherited through a messy process that you do not want others to go through. No matter your reason, this is a key time to meet with your Florida estate planning attorney and plan forward. 
  1. You start your own business. As part of your start up process you want to consider all the ways to protect yourself, your family, and your business from what comes next.  Your Florida estate planning attorney can help you to not only design your estate plan but he may also be able to advise you on the business too.

We know this blog may raise more questions than it answers.  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.