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Do you need an estate plan if you don't have a lot of money?

There are a lot of myths about estate plans that can cause people to make the mistake of not drafting one of these important documents. Perhaps one of the most persistent is the myth that you should only start considering an estate plan if you have a lot of money or property.

Despite the fact that this myth is completely untrue, many people continue to falsely believe it, causing them to miss out on all the benefits a well-drafted estate plan has to offer. You should know that regardless of size, all estates should have a proper plan in place so as to avoid costly litigation down the road. 

What do you include in an estate plan?

The answer to this question depends on your estate and whether you've had a chance to speak with a qualified estate planning attorney. A good lawyer will carefully evaluate your situation and make suggestions that fit your wishes. For younger adults, a will may be the only document they need for now. For older individuals, a more sophisticated plan may be necessary, complete with power of attorney and advance health care directives.

Simple estates are an option

For people who do not have a lot of assets or property but want to designate recipients for portions of their estate, Florida law allows the drafting of small estates. In order to qualify for this estate planning tool, the total of your estate, minus your exempt property, cannot exceed $75,000. (Florida Statutes §735.201(2))

To ensure proper wording of this document to avoid potential legal issues later on, it's a good idea to have an estate planning lawyer review it before signing it and making it official.

There's an estate plan to fit your needs

Whether you have a few thousand or hundreds of thousands of dollars, Florida's laws give you the flexibility to make an estate plan to meet your needs. With the help of a lawyer, you can ensure you are including the right documents and that they are kept up-to-date as well to avoid legal problems your loved ones will have to deal with after you have gone.

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