Every adult in Florida should have a last will and testament, but many do not. Nationally, only about one-third of American adults have written a will. This is a missed opportunity for people to exert some control over how their estate will be handled. Proper estate planning requires some investment up front, but in the long run, it can reduce stress and expenditures.
The basics of estate planning
Many American adults don’t have an estate plan, even celebrities. Recently, actor Chadwick Boseman passed away after a long battle with cancer, and he did not leave a will. Instead of his estate being distributed according to his directions, his wife had to go to court and ask to be named as the administrator of his estate. Probate court can be a time-consuming process, particularly if someone else decides to make a claim on the estate.
Estate planning can sound complicated, but in the long run, it usually saves time and money. Most people don’t think of their property as an estate. That word can sound like it only refers to extensive landholdings and big bank accounts. However, the truth is that writing a will gives people power. It makes it possible for them to distribute their property and name guardians for any minor children.
When adults die intestate, it can make life more difficult for the people they leave behind. That’s true whether they’re celebrities or just average working people with modest assets to leave to loved ones. Estate planning requires attention to detail, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Experienced attorneys may help people craft wills, trusts and other estate planning documents that hold up in court.