Have you completed your Florida estate plan? How long has it been since you last looked at it? Do you remember when it was created? Has it ever been updated? Do you know the planning tools included in it? Does your Florida estate plan reflect your current needs, values, family, and the legacy you want to leave at the time of your passing? Are you concerned about whether your existing Florida estate plan will work or not?
Most adults who have created a Florida estate plan understand the importance of it. They are very aware that they needed to proactively decide what should happen in a time of sudden crisis or death, and they did not want to leave their wishes either to chance or the state mandated process. Unfortunately, though, they did not keep in mind the upkeep a comprehensive Florida estate plan requires. Remember, your Florida estate plan is a vital part of not only your estate but your overall health and well being. So, it cannot be put away and never looked at again. Instead, your estate plan should be reviewed at least every three years, if not every year, to make sure it will still work the way you need it to.
Truly the most important part of developing your Florida estate plan is the peace of mind a completed plan can provide you and your family. Your Florida estate plan ensures that you, and what you love most, is protected against uncertainty, potential harm, and confusion. We would like to share a few complications we often see in our practice that occur in both older and unmaintained Florida estate plans.
- Changes in the laws. Because laws change over time, even the best drafted Florida estate plans may need to be updated on a regular basis. It is important to meet with your Florida estate planning attorney to review your Florida estate plan periodically to make sure laws governing your plan are still in place. In addition, in your meeting with your estate planning attorney you can learn if there are more advantageous laws or new laws that should be incorporated into your planning as well.
- Changes in your family structure. Often the family structure that our clients originally came to us with to create their Florida estate plan changes over time. Births, deaths, and divorces are just some of the family structure changes that can impact your estate plan. Therefore, you need to develop a relationship with your Florida estate planning attorney to make sure that your attorney knows when there are changes in your family that can impact who inherits from you at the time of your passing, and how.
- Decision makers change. Just like the changes to your family structure, the person or persons you want to make your decisions for you in the event of your incapacity or death may change as well. As soon as possible, let your Florida estate planning attorney know if one of your decision makers no longer wishes to act on your behalf or cannot act due to his or her own personal needs or death. It is extremely important that you have a decision maker in place to manage either your health or your finances.
- Your legacy may change or evolve. Knowing that things change over time, this may also hold true for your legacy. What you previously wanted for your legacy may no longer be what you want now. But without updating your Florida estate plan this fact will remain unknown. By developing a strong relationship with your Florida estate planning attorney and keeping your attorney in the know at all times related to goals for your legacy, you can ensure that you are crafting a Florida estate plan that reflects what you want both now and as the future unfolds.
We know this article 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.