It doesn’t matter who you are, you can make life immensely easier for your relatives if you take a few simple actions now to set up an estate plan. Even if you have a small net worth or a net worth that’s in the negative, estate planning can benefit you and your family.
Indeed, the poorest of Florida residents should have estate plans, too. The most basic components of those estate plans include a will, and couple of powers of attorney — specifically a health care power of attorney and a financial power of attorney. These documents allow a trusted relative or friend to make decisions on your behalf when you are too ill and/or too incapacitated mentally or physically to make decision for yourself.
Ultimately, if you are already incapacitated, it is too late for your power of attorney to be completed and relatives will be forced to go to court to gain authority over your affairs. Relatives might also fight over different decisions they want to make for you and this could also play out in a costly and emotional court battle.
Finally, having a will on file is also important for the purpose of distributing your assets after you’re gone. It is surprising how a simple thing like a painting or a pair of earrings that only hold sentimental value can split a family apart. However, well-planned estate can preserve the continuity of your family and prevent emotional disagreements after your passing. Indeed, by creating a will and a simple and affordable estate plan, all of these problems and more can be avoided.