November is coming to a close and the end of the 2015 is upon us. Now is the time when many Americans begin to think of what they are thankful for while simultaneously considering what they want to change in the coming New Year. Health is usually a top contender on the “Thankful” list while living a healthier life ranks in the top three on the “Things I’d Like to Change” list. Your health is something that should never be taken for granted considering how fragile life is and living a healthier lifestyle will most definitely improve your health. However, less stress and peace of mind will also lead to a healthier you. Consider adding to your list creating an estate plan and achieve ultimate peace of mind for both you and your loved ones.
Did you know that without an estate plan your estate will be subject to probate? Probate is the method by which your estate is administered and processed through the legal system if you die without a will. This means that your debts and taxes will be paid before your beneficiaries receive their inheritance. This also means that you have no control over who receives what or how they receive it; meaning, someone you may not even like could end up with all that you have worked for. Fortunately, there are legal methods that allow you to make the process of distributing assets after death less costly, less stressful and that allow you to remain in control.
First, consider a Will. Creating a Will is the first step in the right direction to help ease the stresses associated with the probate process; however, this is not all that you will need. Consider placing your property in Trust to protect it from creditors, to control the manner in which your assets are distributed and to avoid probate all together. Also, be sure to have an estate planning attorney draft a Power of Attorney, a Living Will and a Designation of Healthcare Surrogate as part of your estate plan. These documents will not only ensure that your family will be protected but they will also designate an individual you trust to make legal and health related decisions for you when you are no longer able to make them yourself.
Planning for the future will save your family members additional grief, unnecessary stress and allow you to control how and to whom your assets are distributed. An attorney that specializes in estate planning can help explain the legal tools that are available to each individual depending on their specific goals. As November passes and the New Year approaches, add scheduling your free consultation with Wild, Felice & Partners, P.A. to your list and allow our attorneys to provide you with peace of mind.
It’s a Wild world. Are you protected? SM
For more information on successful Florida estate planning and asset protection techniques, please contact the South Florida law firm of Wild Felice & Partners, P.A. at (954) 944-2855 to schedule your free consultation.