Estate planning is one of those important tasks that people delay in Florida. This is despite the fact that Florida has long been a retirement haven. Estate planning does take time and requires people to confront and accept the fact that they may not be around forever. Some of the beneficiaries they plan for, they may never get to see them grow up into adults. This is why so many people hold off on estate planning for as long as possible or never do it at all.
NerdWallet states that one of the most important tasks for estate planning is getting the right documents. There are two sides to this. People engaging in estate planning need to source the right templates from professionals to create several key documents beneficiaries may need. These may include wills, living wills and paperwork for naming beneficiaries on accounts. To make this happen, people need to gather documents detailing their assets and debts. These include statements from investment accounts, titles for real estate property, life insurance policies and balances for outstanding debts.
When handling estate planning, many people try to find ways to avoid going through probate. Sourcing the right documents and filling out the proper paperwork may help. Florida Bar describes probate as the process by which the court identifies the assets and debts of a deceased person. Note that probate only handles probate assets. These are assets that did not have an automatic succession designation in place. An example of automatic succession is when someone names a beneficiary on an investment account.
If a valid will is present then it may be used to decide how probate assets get divided up. If the decedent leaves no will or family members are unable to find a valid will, then Florida law determines the beneficiaries and what portions they receive of the estate.