Tips and Key Ideas for Updating Your Estate Plan In the New Year

As the New Year begins, are you reflecting on your time spent with your family during the holidays, wanting to be sure you and your family are safe both now and in the future? Are you planning to update your Florida estate plan in the New Year?  What do you need to do first?

As experienced Florida estate planning attorneys we meet with clients and their loved ones to discuss just what is needed to ensure that they are personally protected, as well as their businesses, their family, and the legacy they want to leave behind. We would like to share the following tips and key ideas for updating your Florida estate plan in the New Year. Use these tips and ideas now, or any time throughout the year, to make sure that your updated estate plan reflects your goals for both the present and the future.

  • Check the date of your estate plan. Do you know where your original estate planning documents are? When was the last time you updated your estate plan?  Have there been any changes in your family? For example: deaths, divorces, births or marriages? Do you have name changes and address changes which can cause problems when they are not updated to reflect life changes. Take time to meet with your experienced Florida estate planning attorney to make sure your estate plan still reflects what you actually want, we would encourage you to do this before the end of the year.
  • It is a good idea to never take your health for granted!  Are your health care documents up-to-date? By updating your estate plan you can check in with your Florida estate planning attorney to make sure you still have the right person selected to have the legal authority to make decisions for you in a health care crisis set up properly.
  • You need retirement goals and you need to start aiming for those goals right now. Did you know that a critical part of estate planning is retirement planning? Do you have goals for your retirement? Does your estate plan follow your goals for retirement? Do you need guidance on how to get where you want to go, not just financially, but with an eye on the legacy that you want to create? All these questions can be answered when you meet with your Florida estate planning attorney.
  • A good idea is to now start planning for your long-term care. Do you know what you would do if, in the future, you might need significant long-term care? Be aware that Medicare will not pay for most types of long-term care. A good tip: it is essential for you to consider your long-term care needs and how the financial drain on your resources could impact your estate-planning. If you have not thought about your estate plan in conjunction with your long-term care plan, you should. In fact, begin now to update your Florida estate plan and meet with your estate planning attorney to discuss how potential long-term care complications could inhibit how you reach your estate planning goals.
  • Looking for an idea on how to have your estate avoid probate. As you review and update your estate plan, your estate planning attorney could suggest ways to possibly update your estate plan in such a way as to help you avoid the Florida probate process. We have found that while most estate plans can help you avoid probate, very few of them that we review discuss how to protect beneficiaries going forward. Do you have an estate plan that will be able to not only leave a legacy but also ensure that future generations will be protected? If not, this is a topic that is a good idea to discuss with your Florida estate planning attorney. 

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Your Florida estate plan is of critical importance to ensure that you are protected now, as well as into the future. Contact our law practice now, or at any time throughout the year, and schedule a meeting to make sure you have the Florida estate planning you need to accomplish your goals.