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Estate planning made easy

Florida residents considering estate planning may be interested to learn about several aspects of this often complex process. It has been estimated that less than 50 percent of the American population has a will. In order to protect the family and existing assets, it may be beneficial to compose a well-designed financial plan to avoid any misunderstandings when the maker of the will is gone.

There are numerous steps to be taken into consideration when executing a will. Each element of the will is governed by specific rules about the family members, business and personal assets and other factors involved. The laws vary by state, but in most cases, it is especially important to have all assets properly allocated for individuals with young children. This approach will ensure the correct appointment of the guardianship for minors in the event of the parent's death.

It is vital to create a comprehensive list and decide who will be chosen as the heirs to the assets. Investments, collectibles and items of sentimental value should be included along with real estate, insurance policies and business profits. The executor of the will should be appointed in addition to a financial affair facilitator in case an individual becomes incapacitated for medical reasons.

An executor can be a member of the family, a close friend or an attorney. An executor will be in charge of filing the taxes on behalf of the estate, distribution of property, claim processing from creditors and handling of the trust. It may be a great way to protect all assets from lawsuits and unnecessary claims.

Formulating sound estate planning strategies is especially essential for families with significant wealth and assets. An estate planning attorney may be able to draft thorough, detailed and flexible documents laying out the proper distribution of one's estate.

Source: CNN, "10 steps to painless estate planning", Martha White, March 03, 2014

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