People often wonder about when they should start family estate planning. The answer to this question is pretty simple. Anyone who is a legal adult, that is, over the age of 18, should start estate planning as soon as they can.
Once you become a legal adult, you become responsible for your finances, your assets, as well as for healthcare. When you start earning, you should start working on saving your money. Create savings accounts and even investment accounts for your retirement. Eventually, you’ll end up purchasing a car, or even a home. You could end up getting married and having children. With time, you may even want to start a business of your own. You could purchase a second property, inherit wealth from family or other loved ones, and deal with costly healthcare problems. You could find yourself needing to provide finances for a loved one in the hospital. To deal with these milestones in your life, you need to provide yourself with a degree of financial protection. This can be achieved by creating your estate plan.
Your estate plan isn’t just your ‘will’. It’s essentially a series of actions, tools as well as documents, that are meant to serve specific purposes.
What You Should Consider When You Start Estate Planning
If you’re wondering how to start family estate planning Miami, then estate planning lawyers will be able to help you. An attorney for estate planning Miami can show you to get started with planning your estate. But what are the factors that you should consider, when you start estate planning? Here are five things you should do, to start planning your family estate today.
1. Making Your Will
Anyone who is a legal adult can enjoy certain benefits by creating their will. Through your will, you can let others know how you want your assets and finances to be distributed, once you pass away. You can also assign people to act as your power of attorney lawyers. You can choose someone to be your power of attorney for finances, and someone else for healthcare-related issues.
You can also create a record of what you would like to happen, in the event you are suddenly incapacitated. When you create your will, you ensure that your wishes can be fulfilled by your loved ones, after you pass on. This is important for people who have assets that they want to ensure are protected.
2. Creating A Financial Trust
If you’re someone that has more significant assets, then you should consider creating a trust. With a trust, you’ll have more control over what will happen to your assets, after you pass on. If you add a certain piece of property to your trust, then the possibility of avoiding probate for the property arises. Your successors may also not have to pay certain fees or taxes for that property. Your trust will be able to protect your properties in ways that your will can’t.
You can choose between creating different types of trusts, as there are several options available to you. You can take help from a Miami real estate planning attorney to create your trust.
3. Nominating Someone As Guardian
In case you have children, or you’re expecting a child in the future, consider choosing someone as a guardian. This is the person who will take care of your children, in case something happens to you. Usually, a guardian is selected and mentioned in the Will as well. So if you’re nominating a guardian, you probably already have a Will prepared. In that Will, you should have mentioned who the guardian is.
In case you have children but haven’t nominated someone as a guardian yet, then get in touch with a Miami attorney for estate planning.
4. Power Of Attorney
When creating your Will, you will find yourself designating people with Powers of Attorney. You can approach Miami Powers of Attorney lawyers for this purpose. Your Power Of Attorney is essentially a document that gives people of your choosing, the power to handle your finances, or healthcare decisions, should you be incapacitated.
People usually use Powers Of Attorney to give their loved ones the power to make financial or healthcare decisions for them, in case they are unable to do so themselves. As a part of your estate plan, designate people with Powers of Attorney.
5. Estate Plan Updates
You should keep updating your estate plan every three to six years. If you find yourself encountering a significant milestone in your life, then that would also be a good time to update your estate plan. Significant milestones include getting married or getting divorced. It includes welcoming children into your life, as well as grandchildren. It also includes receiving an inheritance, buying new property, or getting an important health diagnosis.
If you start a new business, then that falls under this category as well. Even if you open new investment accounts, go and pore through your estate plan again afterward. In case someone you’ve designated with an important role in your estate plan becomes unable to carry out those responsibilities, then it’s time to revisit your family estate plan again. They could have died, moved to another country, or become severely ill. If they are unable to fulfill the duties you’ve delegated to them in your estate plan, then it’s time to consult your estate planning lawyers Miami.
Why Is Estate Planning Important?
With the help of your estate plan, you’ll be able to protect your beneficiaries. If you have assets that you want to pass on to your loved ones after you die, then estate planning is important for you. There was a time when it was just high-net-worth individuals who did estate planning. But these days, estate planning is important for everyone, irrespective of how much you earn.
The primary component of estate planning is choosing heirs for the assets that you have. If you don’t have an estate plan, then it’s the courts that will decide who gets your assets. This is a process that’s expensive for your loved ones, and time-consuming as well. With your estate plan, you can also protect your children and provide them with a guardian, in case you pass away. Without your estate plan, it’s the courts that will decide what will happen to your children.
A proper estate plan also helps spare your heirs from paying large taxes, on what you’ve left them. With the help of estate planning lawyers, you can reduce, and sometimes even eliminate, the need to pay state inheritance and state estate taxes. You can also help reduce the amount of income tax that your beneficiaries will need to pay.
Should you want to protect both your assets as well as your loved ones after you pass on, then you’ll need to plan your estate. If you don’t, then your heirs could have to deal with large tax burdens after your death. It could even be the courts that end up deciding how your assets should be divided. To protect your loved ones and pass on your assets to your heirs, start estate planning today.