What you Need to Know About Getting an Estate Plan
Many people in Florida put off creating estate plans because they think that they have plenty of time and do not want to think about death. While you might believe that estate planning is something that you won’t have to worry about until you are older, waiting can bring multiple risks. Here are some of the risks you can face by not getting an estate plan as soon as possible from Fort Lauderdale Estate Planning Lawyer Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq.
1. You Could Pass Away Unexpectedly.
If you pass away unexpectedly because of a serious accident or illness before you create an estate plan, your estate will not be divided according to your wishes. Instead, Florida’s probate laws will control how your estate will be divided, including which of your family members will receive assets and the amounts they will receive. If you want to leave some of your assets to others who might not be within the state’s guidelines, dying without a will prevents your wishes from being fulfilled.
2. You Could Accidentally Leave Someone Out.
If you die without an estate plan in Florida, the state’s probate laws control both who will receive assets and the percentages they will receive. The intestate succession laws focus on distributing your assets to your surviving spouse and children. If you want to leave some of your assets to your friends or other loved ones who are not listed in the state’s intestate succession laws, they might be accidentally left out if you failed to create an estate plan.
3. Public Benefits for Special Needs Children Could Be at Risk.
If you have an adult child with special needs, your child likely depends on government benefits, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Medicaid, and others. These types of benefits require your loved one to keep their assets under a specified amount. If you die, your loved one with special needs could receive a large, outright inheritance. This could jeopardize their benefits. If you instead create a special needs trust before you pass away, you can prevent your loved one’s benefits from being disrupted.
4. You Might Not Have Control Over Your Health Decisions.
While you might think that your estate plan will only address what will happen after you die, estate plans also include plans for if you become incapacitated and are no longer able to make financial and medical decisions for yourself. If you don’t have an estate plan and become incapacitated because of an injury or illness, you might not have control over who will make decisions for you or the type of care you might receive.
Talk to a Fort Lauderdale Estate Planning Attorney
It is never too early to ask about getting an estate plan. If you are an adult, you should speak to a Fort Lauderdale Estate planning attorney at the Law Offices of Rhonda D. Zimmerman, Esq. as soon as possible about the types of documents that you should create to protect your interests and those of your family. Call us today at (561) 672-7265 to request an appointment.