Florida Estate Planning and Common Misconceptions

Here are some of the more common rationalizations for not creating a Florida will, and the facts that quickly dispel those “myths.”

Myth: “My estate is so small that a Florida will or estate planning is not needed.”

Think again. Few people are have so little value as to not require estate planning. Did you add the value of your home, car, furniture, jewelry, savings account, retirement accounts, life insurance, and investments. Even if some items do not hold monetary value, they could have sentimental value. Failing to indicate who receives these items will can cause disagreements between family members that can last forever.

Myth: “When I die, my spouse will get all of my assets.”

If you and your spouse own assets jointly, at death your share of the assets will automatically go to the surviving spouse. If you have separate assets, you have to look at the states statutes to figure out who gets them. Also what will happen when your surviving spouse dies? What will your children receive? What if your children are not your husbands children? Does your spouse know how to manage the family wealth? If your spouse remarries, some or all of your spouse’s assets may wind up in the hands of his/her new spouse or the new spouses children and not your children.

Myth: “I don’t want my final wishes to be set in stone. I’ll create a will later in my life.”

A will is an extremely flexible document whose terms can be changed as often as needed. In fact, any estate planning lawyer will tell you that a Florida will should be re-examined periodically to make sure it is up to date. A Florida will should receive a checkup whenever there is a substantial change in your life. Remember, the terms of a will only become effective at death.

Making a will is not expensive or difficult, but it is a legal document and must be properly prepared. It is usually best to contact an Florida Estate Planning Lawyer or Attorney who will be able to help with the precise wording to make sure your wishes are clear and that they are carried out exactly as you wish. Although it is not advisable, there are software options for the creation of wills, you may read about some of the problems that have occurred because individuals used preprinted wills or software created wills.

There is nothing wrong with putting your house in order today as tomorrow may be too late.

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