Sunday night’s game left the New England Patriots fans in a state of horror. The Pats won the coin toss (as usual) but what happened next changed everything…they decided to kick in overtime. The Pats were kicking themselves afterwards (pun intended) because that decision caused them to lose the game when the final pass was made to Erick Decker for a 6-yard touchdown. Not everything left to chance will result in your favor, even if at first glance it appears that way. This is one of the many reasons why proper estate planning is crucial. If you’re scratching your head and wondering why estate planning makes a difference at all, just consider what will happen if you die without a plan and leave everything to chance…or, to be more specific, to statute.
The decision to create an estate plan is entirely yours to make but don’t be mistaken; just because you don’t create a plan doesn’t mean that one will not exist when you are gone. By avoiding proper estate planning today you are allowing the State of Florida to take full control of your estate later on. Your estate is made up of everything you own. This entire estate will have to pass through probate; a legal process that can last for more than a year, may cost up to 10% of your estate and could result in the surviving family members arguing and suffering from major stress. Since you have allowed the state to take full control, Florida will then decide who gets what and how much they will take. If you have minor children, Florida will also decide who will be awarded custody and is fit to raise them. This could very well result in someone you don’t like benefiting from your hard work, enjoying all you’ve left behind and shaping the remainder of your children’s lives.
This mess can be avoided and you can gain full control by creating an estate plan today. Every individual has different circumstances and goals that they wish to achieve, which is why there are various vehicles used in protecting your assets. If, for example, you are only interested in appointing a guardian then a Will based plan may be appropriate for you. If, however, you are interested in protecting your wealth for minors or for future generations (or maybe you even want to disinherit someone) then a Revocable Living Trust based plan would be a better option. No matter what plan you settle on, you will also receive other important documents, such as an Assignment of Property, Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Surrogate, and HIPAA Release form.
Whatever your goals are, our attorneys will help you to reach them and provide you with the ultimate prize; peace of mind.
Don’t leave anything to chance (or statute!), gain control today by contacting the South Florida Law Firm of Wild Felice & Partners. Schedule your free consultation today by calling (954) 944-2855.
For more information about Estate Planning and Asset Protection, visit our website at www.wfplaw.com.
It’s A Wild World. Are You Protected? SM