Estate Planning Law Firm, Palm Beach County and Martin County FL
With a new year upon us, now is the perfect time to create your personal estate plan, or to review and revise your existing plan.
Major life events such as births, deaths, divorce, remarriage, adoption or change of your state of permanent residency to Florida, are catalysts for a review and update of any existing estate plan documentation you may already have.
Likewise, if any of the persons that you named in your documents has had a change in their life circumstances, you may want to consider choosing other individuals or agencies as your back-ups.
Documenting and maintaining an estate plan reflective of your current wishes is crucial to your security and peace of mind, and helps avoid unwanted future personal, familial and legal issues.
For those who do not yet have any documented estate plans, there are a number of basic actions you should consider as cornerstones of your comprehensive plan.
As each estate plan is highly personalized, there may be additional steps to include in your individual plan, such as planning for loved ones with special needs, substance-abuse issues, or inability to handle money responsibly.
What Are the Basic Steps in a Florida Estate Plan?
- Take inventory of all assets, both tangible and intangible, so that each may be accounted for and properly addressed and directed within your estate plan documentation.
- Document beneficiary designations on all bank, investment, insurance, retirement and other relevant accounts.
- Create or update your Last Will and Testament and Revocable Trust, to direct where your assets should go when you pass on, name who should be in charge of that process and provide guardianship and financial support for your minor children as well as for those with specific needs.
- Create or update Advance Healthcare Directives, such as a Living Will and Health Care Surrogate designations to address how and which medical decisions will be undertaken on your behalf, should you become incapacitated and who would make decisions about your medical treatment if you are unable to do so yourself.
- Create or update Powers of Attorney, in which you give written authorization to others to act on your behalf and handle your affairs. Powers of Attorney can be general, special, durable, financial or healthcare-related in nature.
- Create or update additional Trust(s), created alongside your Last Will & Testament and Revocable Trust, to address specific objectives such as asset protection, probate and tax minimization or avoidance, control of the distribution of assets and to maintain privacy.
As there are many types of trusts available, we can help you decide which, if any, are best suited for your circumstances as part of your complete estate plan.
In 2024 and beyond, there will be changes to tax codes, gift and estate tax lifetime exemption amounts and other potential legislative actions that may affect your estate plan.
It is strongly recommended that you work with highly knowledgeable and experienced estate planning attorneys, to help you keep your plan current, conforming to Florida and Federal law, and in your and your family’s best interests.
At Kitroser Lewis & Mighdoll, our dedicated attorneys and staff offer many decades of legal skill in all aspects of Estate Planning, Will & Trust creation and other closely related practice areas, to help our clients develop the comprehensive, sophisticated and protective estate plans they need. We look forward to working with you very soon.
You can reach us by calling one of our offices below, or by filling out and submitting our online Contact Form. We Are Your Family’s Lawyers.
North Palm Beach Office: 561-721-0600
Jensen Beach Office: 772-763-1400