We have helped a lot of people create estate plans over the years, and have found that keeping some simple rules in mind as you go about the process can be a great help. When people in Florida create estate plans, it can often be easy for them to get lost in the details. To help prevent this from happening, and to help those who feel overwhelmed by the process get back on track, you might want to keep the following rules in mind.
Simple Estate Planning Rule 1. Starting today is always better than waiting for tomorrow.
If there is a single rule that everyone should know about estate planning, it’s that having a plan in place is always better than waiting. If you don’t feel like you’re ready to begin estate planning, don’t feel like you have enough assets that you need to protect, or are waiting for some other event take place, you are doing it wrong. Having a good plan now is always better than waiting to create the perfect plan tomorrow.
Further, the idea of a “perfect” plan is itself a hindrance. No plan will ever be perfect, because life and your judgments are always changing. Your estate plan will allow you to make choices, and those choices will require you to balance different factors and make judgments. Is one judgment better than another? Who is to say? What you can know for certain, however, is that you are much better off with a plan than without one.
Simple Estate Planning Rule 2. Have a good understanding of what you’re starting with.
A lot of estate planning decisions will revolve around financial questions. This, naturally, will require you to have a decent understanding of what your financial situation is. Unfortunately, a lot of people are unprepared to make an estate plan because they don’t really have a good grasp of their finances.
Even if all you do before you visit your estate planning lawyer is write down a list of assets and debts, this can be a great help. The choices you make will not only affect the assets you have now, but will also affect what you will likely acquire in the future. Understanding what your future is likely to hold is only possible if you understand your current position.
Simple Estate Planning Rule 3. Change is your friend.
Our lives change, and can do so unexpectedly. The laws surrounding estate planning can change. Once you create an estate plan you must be willing to accept that change will take place, and that your plan must be able to change as well. Changing your plan when necessary is good, and it’s something you absolutely must be ready to do.