Are you welcoming the New Year by either starting or updating your Florida estate planning? In Florida this is crucial because there may be specific state laws that could seriously impact your planning. In our Florida estate planning law office we would like to assist you in reaching your estate planning goals. Below please find essential tips and strategies for updating your Florida estate plan that will give you the peace of mind that it is comprehensive and up-to-date.

  1. Be aware of the estate laws that are specific to Florida. Understanding the intricacies of Florida’s estate laws, like homestead regulations and probate procedures, is critical. By working with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney, they can help keep your estate plan in line with these unique legal requirements.
  2. Be aware that there needs to be planning for minor children. Do you have young children? If your answer is yes, then naming a guardian in your Florida estate plan is extremely important. You also may want to consider setting up a trust. You need to be thinking ahead so that you can safeguard the future welfare and financial needs of your children.
  3. Be aware that you should plan now, not later, for long-term care needs. Have you given any thought to long-term care planning? Planning ahead, before a crisis, for long-term care is an important aspect of Florida estate planning. Discuss this with your Florida estate planning attorney early, not later. This is so that options such as long-term care insurance and legal instruments like healthcare directives can be prepared for the possibility that you may need additional assistance with your activities of daily living in the future.
  4. Be aware that you should keep your beneficiary designations updated. Know that there are life events, such as marriage or the birth of a child, that necessitate a review of your beneficiary designations on financial accounts to ensure they reflect your current intentions. In addition, and most importantly, you will want to discuss this with your Florida estate planning attorney so that together you can decide what assets should proceed this way and which ones should be funded into a trust agreement.
  5. Be aware of the impact of taxes. You need to know about any federal estate taxes because these taxes may affect your estate. With the guidance of your Florida estate planning attorney you may need to employ strategies like gifting or specific trusts for tax efficiency, despite Florida’s lack of a state estate tax.
  6. Be aware that you need to have a plan for incapacity. In your Florida estate plan you should have a durable power of attorney and living will to safeguard your wishes in case of incapacity.
  7. Be aware that you need to include your digital assets. Inventory all your digital assets, including online accounts and digital currencies. Make sure all are accounted for and accessible to your future decision makers.
  8. Be aware that you need to regularly review and update your estate plan. Your Florida estate plan needs to be regularly reviewed, especially if it has been several years since your last review. When there have been changes in your life, laws, or financial situation there may need to be updates which your Florida estate planning attorney will be able to help you take care of.
  9. Be aware of taking into consideration your out-of-state assets. Do you own real property or have significant connections outside Florida? Then it is important to consider how the laws of other states might affect your estate. We highly recommend that you meet with your Florida estate planning attorney because multi-state planning can be complex and may require specialized legal advice and, in fact, they will be able to help you determine the best solution for your unique situation.

To wrap up, the New Year is an excellent time to make sure that your Florida estate plan is up-to-date and reflects your current circumstances. With these essential tips and strategies, your estate plan can effectively safeguard your legacy and provide peace of mind. Keep in mind that regular reviews and adjustments are vital in maintaining the effectiveness of your Florida estate plan. In addition, meeting regularly with your Florida estate planning attorney allows you to ask questions and share concerns and can then give you and your family the peace of mind that you are protected.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. At 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.