Are there changes you need to make to your estate plan as the year ends? Unfortunately, many times in our estate planning practice, we see clients forget to update their Florida estate plans after their initial creation. But, you need to know, life's inevitable changes, both big and small, can greatly impact the relevance and effectiveness of your Florida estate plan. So, all that being said, as the year ends is a great opportunity for this review of your Florida estate plan, providing a natural moment for thorough examination of your personal, financial, and legal affairs.
You need to be cognizant of the fact that it is critical that your Florida estate plan is not only adjusted for major life events but also able to ensure it accurately reflects your current wishes and intentions. As we look at the meetings and experiences of our clients in our practice, we have pointed out six key signs that it might be time to update your Florida estate plan. These serve as a guide in the often-overlooked but essential area of personal and familial estate and financial planning.
1. The dynamics of your family have changed. Often, the most common reason to update your Florida estate plan is a change in your family structure. This could include marriage, divorce, the birth of a child or grandchild, or the death of a family member. These life events can drastically impact how you wish to distribute your assets and should prompt a review of your estate plan.
2. You now live in a different state. Have you moved to a different state? If your answer is yes, then it is important to update your Florida estate plan to comply with the laws of your new state. Be mindful, estate planning laws can vary significantly from state to state, particularly regarding taxes, probate procedures, and legal requirements for wills and trusts.
3. You have reached a milestone age. You need to be aware that certain ages can trigger different planning considerations. For example, in most situations at age 72, you may need to take required minimum distributions from retirement accounts, which can impact your estate planning. At other ages, you might become eligible for government benefits like Medicare, which could also necessitate changes to your plan.
4. Time moves on. It is just good practice to review your Florida estate plan periodically, even if no significant changes have occurred. As time passes, your wishes and priorities may evolve, and it is important that your estate plan reflects your current intentions.
5. You have had changes in your health. Remember, significant changes in your health or the health of a beneficiary may call for a review of your Florida estate plan. So, if you or a beneficiary becomes seriously ill, you may want to adjust how your assets are distributed or consider setting up a special needs trust. Additionally, changes in health can impact decisions about the medical power of attorney and living wills.
6. You need to start preparation for long-term care as soon as possible. Did you know that planning for potential long-term care needs is an often overlooked aspect of estate planning? As you age, the likelihood of requiring long-term care increases. If you or your spouse are facing a health crisis or are at an age where health issues are more probable, it is crucial to update your Florida estate plan accordingly. This may involve setting aside funds for long-term care, revising your health care directives, and ensuring that your power of attorney documents are up-to-date. It is also important to consider how the costs of long-term care might impact your overall estate and the inheritance you plan to leave behind. Addressing these issues in your Florida estate plan can provide clarity and security for you and your family during challenging times.
Without a doubt, a consistent review and update of your Florida estate plan is key to ensuring it matches your present life situation and objectives. We highly recommend that you seek guidance from a Florida estate planning attorney. They can be invaluable in navigating this updating process, ensuring your plan is thorough and current. Ultimately, a properly updated Florida estate plan is crucial in safeguarding your legacy and caring for those you hold dear.
We know this article raises more questions than it answers. Contacting a Florida attorney and then trusting them to work for you can be overwhelming and stressful. We are dedicated to YOU – getting to know you, your situation, and your needs. Simultaneously, we want you to understand that we view each client as an individual who is entitled to the best representation possible. Being a lawyer is a responsibility and a privilege that we don’t take lightly. When you choose The Demosthenous Law Firm you can rest assured that you have an exceptional legal team in your corner, fighting diligently for your rights and best interests. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and experience the difference that our unparalleled legal representation can make in your life.