A common mistake people make when discussing asset and estate planning is thinking that comprehensive planning only pertains to high net worth individuals. This is simply not the case. Regardless of whether you are an individual with modest income and a monthly rental, or an executive with an impressive stock portfolio, the bottom line is this: if you have something to lose, then you should consider asset and estate planning.
What is asset planning?
Asset protection planning is basically a strategy for protecting your personal assets from the threat of creditor claims. It involves developing a financial plan that is designed to preserve and protect property in the event of a claim or the threat of a claim. This form of asset management is utilized by both individuals and businesses to legally limit a creditor’s access to specific valuable assets.
Asset protection plans integrate both long and short term financial goals, as well as the goals of your estate planning. A comprehensive plan considers all financial plans, including insurance policies, business vehicles, and estate planning mechanisms. Developed with those objectives in mind, asset protection planning works to protect those assets from creditors. Because asset protection plans must be in place before a claim or liability occurs, it is best to begin planning as soon as possible, well in advance of any potential lawsuit.
What is estate planning?
Simply put, estate planning is the process of organizing your affairs. By planning, you will not only ensure your wishes are carried out in the event of your incapacity or after your death; you will lessen the burden on surviving family members left with managing your affairs after incapacity or after your passing. It is also an opportunity to designate a trustworthy individual to be in charge of your estate should their come a time when you are unable to manage things on your own. Estate planning is not incredibly difficult or expensive, nor does it need to involve a depressing conversation about dying. For most Americans, following a few simple steps is all it takes.
In Florida, some important estate planning steps include:
- Writing a last will and testament, which includes designating a legal guardian for young children and naming an executor
- Establishing a durable power of attorney for finances
- Designating a health care surrogate
- Establishing a living will, to express your wishes for end-of-life medical care
Don’t wait until it is too late, contact an experienced Florida planning attorney
Too frequently, individuals postpone discussions regarding asset planning and estate planning until it is too late. At Kitroser, Lewis & Mighdoll, our estate planning attorneys understand that these conversations can be uncomfortable and we are here to help you discuss your financial goals and concerns regarding your estate. With skill and compassion, our knowledgeable team draws on nearly 100 years of combined experience to deliver results for you and your family. We personally develop asset and estate plans that both address your interests and meet your objectives. Contact our office today at 561-721-0600 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with a member of our team.