It's important for all business owners in Florida to make plans for succession. Whether it's brought on by a death or retirement, a company will need to change hands at some point. This will be less complicated if family members are already part of the business and ready to take over. However, it is more common for the situation to be more complex.
Florida fans of actor Luke Perry, who died suddenly of a stroke at the age of 52, might wonder whether he had an estate plan in place to protect his family. The fact that Perry's family made the decision to take him off life support after it became clear that he would not recover suggests that he had made arrangements using a power of attorney or health care directive to appoint someone to make medical decisions on his behalf. Without these, a family might have to get a court order to allow a loved one to be removed from life support, particularly if they disagree.
When Florida residents create an irrevocable trust, they generally cannot make changes to the document; after all, it is called "irrevocable" for a reason. Of course, this is one reason why many people prefer to plan using revocable trusts instead. The latter are more flexible instruments and offer options that let people make important changes that reflect different circumstances.
Death is something people do not like thinking about, but not preparing for what will inevitably happen is a less attractive alternative. Controlling where assets will go and avoiding family conflict are two basic goals of estate planning, but there are other possibilities as well. A common misconception among many Florida families is that trusts are tools only for the wealthy and are prohibitively expensive to establish. In fact, a revocable trust can be beneficial for many people who wish to protect their families without costing a fortune.