The start of a new year is a great time to consider creating an estate plan. This instrument can benefit anyone over the age of 18 who lives in Florida or any other state. The most important part of an estate plan is the last will and testament. It will help a person gain greater control over who receives assets after he or she passes on.

Without a will, assets could be passed on according to state law. It is a good idea to inventory assets to ensure that they have all been accounted for in an estate plan. Be sure to have a health care proxy as well as a financial power of attorney. The health care proxy handles medical decisions while the financial power of attorney is able to sell assets or access bank accounts while an individual is incapacitated. Furthermore, take some time to check beneficiary designations and update them, if necessary, to ensure that assets go to the right people.

It may also be a good idea to talk to parents or grandparents about their estate plans as well. This may make it easier to settle a loved one’s estate when he or she passes. Ask where they keep important documents or help them find a safe place for them to make sure that they are easy to access.

Adults will likely benefit from making estate planning a priority in their lives. An attorney may be able to help a person create a plan or review any plan documents that already exist. If changes need to be made, legal counsel will generally understand how to make them in accordance with state law. This may reduce the chances of a legal challenge to an estate from family members, creditors or other interested parties.