Is there a certain time when a person should start a Florida estate plan? Is it really true that an estate plan is a critical tool for all adults to have? Absolutely! Estate planning allows you to begin to think about what you want for yourself, your loved ones, your business, and your legacy. It is actually about much more than what happens at the end of our lives, even though that is an important part of the process. Estate planning makes us answer tough questions about our future including, but not limited to, what should happen if you no longer have the capacity you need to make your own decisions.

Now that you understand that you need an estate plan, what should you do next? You need to determine when you should start a Florida estate plan. As Florida estate planning attorneys, we are often asked when you should start estate planning and we want to share five important times in your life you should begin creating your Florida estate plan.

1. Start when you reach the age of majority. Think your 18th birthday is too young? It is not. If you do not have a Florida estate plan in place, 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. Plain speaking, no one will be able to pay your bills, access your bank accounts, or talk to your doctors. By working with your Florida estate planning attorney you can create an estate plan that will protect you and put the people who you want to be in charge of you in place in a crisis. 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.

2. Start when you go to school. Just like when you reach the age of majority, it is important to think about a time when you live independently and need to make your own decisions. In fact, if you are single, who will be able to make decisions for you in the event of a crisis. Planning your Florida estate plan now is critical for success.

3. Start when you get married. It is exciting to plan for a time when you will share your life with another person. However, it is also a time to think about how you want to protect and provide for each other. There is no better way to do that with a Florida estate plan.

4. Start when you have a child. Estate planning becomes even more critical when you have children, especially minor children. Who should care for your children if something happens to you? When should your children inherit? How can you provide for the future of your children if you are no longer here? These are the questions your Florida estate plan can answer when you work with your Florida estate planning attorney.

5. Start when you inherit. It does not matter whether you are coming into a small or large inheritance, what is important is to protect it. The person who left you this inheritance may have had clear instructions for you that you want to use in your estate plan as well or you may have inherited through a messy process that you do not want others to go through in your estate plan. No matter your reason, this is an important time to meet with your Florida estate planning attorney and plan forward.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. We know you may have questions about this, and many other, issues. 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.