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How do I plan my estate in Florida?

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2022 | Estate Planning |

When it comes to estate planning, the core laws across the United States are similar, although there are some subtle differences from state to state. Because a large amount of Florida’s population is older, there is a lot of interest in estate planning and it is important for anyone who is planning their estate to acquire basic knowledge about probate law, estate taxes and wills so that they understand what they are dealing with once they actually sit down and plan their estate.

Many people believe that as long as you have a will, your estate plan is complete. However, in many cases, the will is not enough. Each document in your estate plan serves a different purpose and they all carry weight that is an essential part of an estate plan.

What is the purpose of a will, and do I need one?

Although is undoubtedly a very important part of your estate plan, it is not all that you need. Your will can assist your estate in transferring property from you to your beneficiaries and it can help you to avoid paying certain taxes as well. The size of your will (in Florida) depends on the size and complexity of your estate.

Do I need to include a trust as part of my estate plan?

You don’t necessarily have to include a trust in your estate plan; however, it is a good idea in many cases. If you have a sizeable estate, which includes a significant amount of property, which you intend to pass down to your heirs, you will need to designate every piece of property to someone (or something). In Florida, the trust laws help you to manage your property during your lifetime so that the transition to transfer that property to heirs will hopefully go smoothly once you have passed.

When it comes to transferring your property through a trust in Florida, it can be a simple process and you should consider the trust as an estate planning tool that either supplements or replaces your will. Florida has applicable laws that ensure that you use specific methods and follow the state’s trust-creating requirements so that your trust is considered valid. There are different types of trusts that you can create in Florida, including trusts in which the beneficiary is a member of the family, a friend, a household pet or a charity. Each type comes with its own requirements.

Getting helpful legal advice

It is very important that you know where your assets will go after you have passed on. Although it is not  pleasant to think about where your treasures will go after you are no longer around, it is necessary so that your legacy is intact and your possessions go to whom you wish them to go. Because each person’s assets are different, each estate plan will also be unique.



Photo of Jennifer D. Sharpe