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Testators advised to prepare for contingencies

Florida residents who are concerned with how their heirs will dispose of their inheritances can take steps to maintain control. They may need to account for factors like timing, as the order in which heirs testators perish may impact how assets will be disbursed. In some cases, it may be wise to let heirs make decisions to handle unanticipated events.

Contingency plans are an important part of estate planning. For instance, plans that decide to give specific asset shares to named individuals may be well-suited by backup arrangements that account for what will occur should circumstances change, such as when an heir dies. These instructions must be specified in legally binding documents.

Estate owners can also leave themselves with a bit of room to make changes or grant such powers to their heirs. In some cases, plans leave certain contingency decisions to heirs by giving them the power to appoint their successor when it comes to an inheritance. It is also important that testators choose estate structures and assets that support the their intentions. For instance, banks may follow their own guidelines in deciding how to distribute account holdings when the owners die, and beneficiary designations override contrary instructions in a will.

Creating a last will and testament isn't always the best way to provide for loved ones. Estate planning attorneys will advise their clients that documents like trusts, living wills and powers of attorney may be necessary to care for relatives, prepare for unexpected contingencies and preserve and protect the assets of the owner.

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