Why You Must Start Your Estate Planning Today

estate planning family in sunset

If you haven’t at least created a Last Will, when you die, your State’s laws will decide how to disburse your estate. No one’s wishes will be considered. No one’s plans will be followed.

The judge who oversees the distribution (and make no mistake, there will be judges and lawyers involved) has no power to do anything other than distributing the estate as set forth by the Florida probate laws. There is no room for deviation or individual concerns.

Did you know that in Florida the law without a will provides for a percentage of your estate to go straight to your child/children, even if your partner survives you? Did you think that your husband or wife would get everything?

Is that how you want to leave your husband or wife? Do you really trust your State Legislature to make your decisions for you? That is what happens if you do nothing.

I send people information all the time, and they sometimes get back to me years later, if at all. They procrastinate. I understand procrastination.  Do not postpone until it is too late.

Of course, some people move quickly, but usually when some crises or urgency exists. Someone is seriously ill, a long trip is planned, or someone they know died without an estate plan. Don’t wait for the emergency or you risk being too late with terrible consequences.

I can dream up many excuses people might have, such as It’s not urgent; I can always do it later. I can’t afford to do it now. It is not in my budget. I hate to talk about death. I don’t know what I want to do. I’m too young. What if I get a divorce? I don’t have very much. What if I change my mind? I don’t have time to spend with an attorney.

Let us address some of these excuses

1. I’m too young. It’s not urgent.

No one who is at least eighteen years old is too young. No one is impervious to accidents or illness.  People of all ages die every day. Of course, the odds may be against it, but there is always the possibility. Unfortunately, just when you realize it’s too late, it really is too late. You know what? Hopefully, tomorrow is too late. Hundreds of people will die in Florida who are not prepared and didn’t expect it. Don’t let that be you.

2. I don’t have time.

Make time, if you are waiting for more free time, you will wait forever. I’ll bet that everyone who reads this has at least ten things on their calendar in the next 30 days that are not nearly as important.  A phone call to make an appointment will only take a few minutes. I’m talking about the equivalent of a few TV or streaming programs. Isn’t this much more important than the latest episode ?

3. What if we divorce or we change our minds about what we want to do?

A valid concern with an easy answer. Wills, Trusts and most estate planning documents are modifiable and flexible. They can always, always be amended or revoked (although no one can change your wishes after you are dead or incapacitated).

3. I can’t afford it; it’s not in my budget.

A Will or even a Revocable Living Trust is less than you might think.  The probate court costs, publication fees, attorney fees and having to pay off all unsecured creditors will costs far more than the costs of a Trust, Will and Advanced directives. Get started on an estate plan. Send Martinez Law an email or make a phone call today. It is that easy to start. You know you need to do it. There is no good excuse. Tomorrow could be too late.

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“I make sure my clients know where they stand and what to expect from me and the law, every step of the way.” ~Joseph Martinez, Esq.
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