Florida residents who hesitate to create estate plans are not alone. The American Association of Retired Persons reports that more than half of U.S. adults do not have an estate plan in place. However, putting off this task can mean no plan will be in place for becoming incapacitated, the care of minor children or the distribution of assets. All adults should consider the following benefits to estate planning.
If assets are placed in a living revocable trust, they can be managed in case of incapacitation. Furthermore, they can pass directly to beneficiaries if the creator dies. A power of attorney is another way to appoint someone to manage financial and legal matters. For medical matters, documents such as a health care proxy and a living will can arrange for others to step in and make medical decisions.
By using trusts in conjunction with a will, an estate planner could have greater control over the distribution of assets. For some people, however, a will may be the only document necessary to pass on assets. It's also important to note that some assets are passed using other documents, such as beneficiary designations.
All families may want to discuss their estate plans with loved ones. For wealthy families, these discussions can prepare beneficiaries to receive and manage wealth.
Trusts may be particularly powerful and versatile documents, and they are not just useful for wealthy families. An attorney could explain how a trust may be useful in a particular circumstance, such as to help a relative who has special needs. All types of estate plans should be reviewed every few years to ensure they remain up to date.