The status of your estate -- and your relationship with various heirs and beneficiaries -- changes over time. After creating a will, you might get married or divorced. You might have additional children or grandchildren. The ways in which your relationships can change are almost unlimited, as are the reasons you might want to edit a will. To make valid changes to your will, however, you simply can't edit the document and call it a day.
Whole and universal life insurance policies are a mash-up between traditional term life insurance and an investment. That is to say, they offer the basic functionality you'd expect of a life insurance policy, but they also accrue cash value that can be used for a variety of purposes. One accountant is saying that people with old whole or universal life insurance policies shouldn't just let them lapse. They can convert the assets to valuable estate planning tools.
Depending on what you inherit from friends or family, your legal battles might include both probate and other matters. This is often true when you inherit real property, such as real estate, in conjunction with someone else.
We've talked a lot about why Florida residents need estate plans--those legal documents protect you and your heirs, and their benefits often begin during your lifetime. But estate planning documents such as trusts and wills can be complex. Can mistakes derail the progress and protection you think you've made? Yes, errors or failure to consider important matters during the estate planning process can cause issues later.
Setting up an estate plan is a serious matter for most people. Some people want to ensure that everything they have will go to the people who they want the items to go to. One way to do this as quickly and as inexpensively as possible after you pass away is to set up trusts. These are very useful tools that can be used with a will or in lieu of a will.
When you are creating your estate plan, you might think that you should just include all of your assets into your will. That isn't always the best option because some assets aren't appropriate to include in a will. If you include certain items in the will, you might make the probate process more difficult for your heirs.
We have discussed a variety of estate planning tools that help your beneficiaries and heirs to have what they need to handle your estate when you are gone. One of the tools that is commonly used in estate plans is the financial power of attorney. In Florida, there are some very specific points you should know before you sign the documents necessary to appoint a financial power of attorney.
Finding the time and motivation to create an estate plan is something that makes many people put it off. When it is time to sit down and get things together, it is important that you take care of everything necessary so that your wishes are followed and your beneficiaries and heirs get the portions of your estate that you want them to have. There are some mistakes that you should make sure you avoid.
Those who have ever dealt with estate issues know that when someone has a legal ground for contesting a will, the process for settling the estate often drags on as the case goes through the court process. Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Banks' estate is in the middle of a contested will battle. While this case isn't in Florida, it is a good reminder that valid estate plans are vital. Additionally, full disclosure as the case makes its way through the probate process is also vital.
Thinking of a loved one passing away isn't a pleasant thought for anyone; however, it is vital for anyone who stands to have an inheritance from the death of a loved one to understand some points about handling that inheritance. One important point is that if you are married or thinking about getting married, you have to understand the concept of comingling.