Don't Make These Estate Planning Mistakes!

Nicole Quattrocchi | | Categories: Business Formation , Civil Litigation , Commercial Litigation , Contract Drafting & Review , Estate Planning , Family Law & Domestic Relations , General Litigation , LGBT Issues & Custody , Litigation , Small claims , Wills & Trusts

Don't Make These Estate Planning Mistakes!

Have you ever thought about who should inherit your property and possessions? Even if you think you are too young to think about it, proper estate planning can ease your mind and reduce your family's stress after you pass on. It can also alleviate stress as to who will be taking care of your minor children should the worst happen.

Estate planning ensures whatever you have earned so far will be in the hands of those who mean the most to you, who will take over the care of any minor children and what should happen to any of your assets or liabilities. It allows you to decide when and how you will share the inheritance with your loved ones. It will not just protect your wealth but will also help secure the future of your loved ones.

If you want to avoid leaving your loved ones in a legal tangle, plan your estate now and rest easy.

In spite of knowing the advantages of planning an estate, many prefer not to plan, as there are some misunderstandings regarding estate planning and deciding what will happen to your children, assets and liabilities upon one's death is not the most comfortable of topics. To clear the air, here's a list of the most common mistakes people making regarding estate planning.

Believing only wealthy people need estate planning. We hear this often - "Why do I need a will if I don't have a large estate?" The answer is that you'd like your heirs to avoid the probate process. It can be lengthy and expensive for your heirs, even if your estate is small.

Assuming the state will divide my property the way want. People assume that the state will share their assets following how they would themselves share them. However, it's better if you plan for your wife and biological children to inherit from you rather than letting the State choose who inherits and how. You should ask yourself, would I invite the State of Florida into my bedroom? Would I invite the government into my personal thoughts and wishes? If your answer is no, then you need to get them out of your estate planning.

Handwriting your will. People believe that they can handwrite a will and have it notarized and that it will be accepted as if written by an attorney and avoid the probate process. Some states allow "holographic" wills where the will is entirely handwritten by the testator or testatrix. Florida is not one of them. To avoid probate in Florida, it's best to find an attorney.

A power of attorney will take over all aspects of your life.People assume that signing a power of attorney means that their chosen person will take over all aspects of their life at the time of signature. However, a power of attorney can be signed when one anticipates incapacity or be limited to certain areas (financial, physical, etc.) and take effect at its signature. For example, someone who is planning on having surgery may sign a power of attorney for financial aspects only should he/she be incapacitated for a time period. The power of attorney can be limited in time, duration and scope. It can also be general and kept to be enacted upon the incapacity, should any take place.

Presuming the hospital will provide an advanced medical directive. People assume that the hospital will provide an advanced medical directive if you get sick. The hospital may provide such a document, but at the point that it is provided, you may be too incapacitated to sign it. If you have strong feelings about how you'd like to be kept alive, or not, you should have an attorney document your wishes. While the conversation of whether or not to "pull the plug", when the plug should be pulled and under what circumstances the plug should be pulled is not anyone's favorite conversation, it can prevent one from being kept alive (when your wishes are the opposite), provide comfort for your loved ones, and prevent fighting and potential legal battles regarding whether or not you should be kept alive by artificial means.

Your wishes regarding your children will always be honored. People assume that their wishes regarding their children will be honored, regardless of whether they are documented or not. Do you want the State to decide who takes care of your kids? Do you want the Department of Children and Families to review your options and put your child/children in the foster system while they decide? If not, then hire an attorney to help you plan on who you'd like to care for your child/children.

If you're looking to plan your estate, then reach out to The Quattro Firm, L.L.C. Lawyers will make sure that your property is disposed of in the manner that you wish. Moreover, at the Quattro Firm, we believe in viewing the client as a whole person as opposed to just a set of legal issues. We also believe that in order to be a successful advocate, we must be able to understand the full needs of our clients and not just the legal needs. By using this full understanding, we advocate with compassion. To know more contact us here.