Florida residents may be interested to learn that it doesn't require vast wealth to plan for the distribution of an estate. Owning basic things, like a house, cars or other real property, makes estate planning important so all the assets go where the holder intends. Experts say people are never too young to prepare for the future. It is also recommended that in addition to a will, estate planning should encompass a health care power of attorney, a power of attorney and possibly a trust.
A common mistake in estate planning is an over dependence on avoiding taxes. It is recommended that the focus remain on who is supposed to receive the assets. When it comes to children, it can be a mistake to divide things equally. A family business can easily be run into the ground if the siblings aren't on the same page about how to run it. Rather than trying to be "fair" by dividing things equally, it may be better to consider the needs and abilities of each child individually.
It's also important to make sure the proper person is the beneficiary of any employee sponsored retirement plan. This is especially true if the plan has been in place for many years with the same person listed. The decision should be reviewed periodically to make sure the person listed continues to be the best choice.
Planning for death is difficult, but necessary. It will establish who gets what, the guardianship of minor children or the division of a family business. A probate and estate attorney may be helpful in a preparing a plan that carries out the wishes of the asset holder. This can be accomplished with trusts and wills that are carefully prepared to reflect the wishes of the person planning the estate.
Source: Fox Business, "Why You Need an Estate Plan", Donna Fuscaldo, June 21, 2013