Top Issues That Arise Without An Estate Plan
At the office of Jordan Fields, P.A., our lawyers work hard to understand what you hope to accomplish with your estate plan. We will ask you a number of specific questions about the important people in your life, and who you can rely on in the event you are incapacitated. At the end of the process, you will have an estate planning tool that meets your needs and those of your loved ones.
We also take the time to discuss with our clients what happens without an estate plan, including the top issues listed below:
1. You Lose Control Of Decisions
Creating an estate plan is a way to preserve your wishes and give direction to your named representatives. If you become incapacitated and cannot communicate the way in which you want to be medically cared for, who will be your voice? After you have died and your estate is to be distributed, who will know how you wanted your assets to be passed down? Your comprehensive estate plan protects your voice and sets out your preplanned decisions so that the courts only have to enforce the documents, not determine who should step in and take control when you cannot be in control.
2. Who Will Take Care Of Your Children?
In the estate planning documents that we create, it is essential that guardians for minor children or loved ones with special needs be designated. If you do not name someone to have guardianship, the state will be left to determine who should step in. The persons they name may be who you would have wished to take guardianship. However, you cannot ensure that the guardians are of your choosing unless it is detailed in your plan.
3. The Payment Of Excessive Fees And Taxes
If you do not have any valid estate planning documents at the time of your death (referred to as dying without a will or “intestate,”) the Florida courts will have to step in and handle the probating of your estate. This means that not only are assets distributed according to Florida law, and not according to your wishes, but additional fees and estate taxes may be applied. This can potentially drain your estate of funds that you would have preferred going to your heirs and beneficiaries.