As 2017 comes to a close, and 2018 is on the horizon, it is natural to reflect on the year that has passed. One might also start contemplating New Year’s resolutions. As part of your 2018 resolutions, consider certain aspects of your family’s future. Make 2018 the year you get your affairs in order in the unlikely event of your death.
No one wants to think about death and dying. Nonetheless, death is a part of life, so having your affairs in good order affords you with peace of mind, knowing your family will benefit by your loving acts of planning so your legacy is passed to them with ease.
Creating Your Will
If you don’t have a will, you are not alone. Fewer than half of all American adults have an estate plan in place. If you are a parent of children under the age of 18, you have even more company. A full 64 % of all parents of minor children don’t have any plan in place, committed to writing, detailing their wishes in the event of their death.
Now is the time to meet with a board-certified estate planner to discuss your family’s unique circumstances. A Last Will and Testament is one of several ways to detail your wishes about who will raise your children in the event of your death. Additionally, a Last Will and Testament is a relatively simple vehicle for determining how your possessions will be distributed. If you have no documents in place, the state will decide these questions for you.
Updating Your Will
If you already have a will, congratulations! However, now is not necessarily the time to rest on your laurels. There are any number of situations where a will should be updated. Some of these situations include:
- The state laws have changed;
- You have moved to a new state;
- You have additional assets;
- The value of your assets has increased or decreased significantly;
- You have had additional children;
- You got married;
- Someone named in your will has died;
- You divorced; or
- You have changed your mind about who should raise your children.
Updating your will is relatively painless. Further, depending on your current situation, there may be other estate planning options that better suit you and your family to which you should give consideration.
Creating or Updating a Living Will
A living will is an essential component of any estate plan. A living will allows a person of your choosing to step in to make decisions regarding medical treatment, should the need arise. Without a living will, the government decides who will makes these decisions for you.
Every family is unique. Consequently, every estate plan should be unique. Whether your estate is large or small, estate planning is a good idea. When you create an estate plan, you decide who will raise your children, receive your property, and make medical decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
Make This the Year You Get Your Affairs in Order
You have already taken an important first step – you are reading and researching the importance of having a Last Will and Testament. Please don’t hesitate any longer to contact our office to discuss your family’s needs. We can help you protect your assets, make difficult decisions about who should raise your children, and take advantage of the laws that are in place in Florida to ensure the assets you worked so hard to obtain are passed according to your wishes. We are knowledgeable about the tax consequences of various approaches to estate planning. We can help you select the approach that works best for you and your family.
At Doane & Doane, we offer a complimentary initial consultation to discuss the best approach for you and your family. You have nothing to lose, and so much to gain. Let us work with you to help you get your affairs in order and achieve the peace of mind you so deserve. Contact us at 561-656-0200.
What Happens When You Die Without a Will?