elderly adults sitting on bench

Many put off planning their estates for several reasons. Whether they feel like they don’t have enough assets to warrant a plan, don’t have the time to create one or simply don’t want to think about death, this is something many put off until it’s too late. However, many without an estate plan are unsure what the consequences of this delay are. If you have not yet planned your estate, you’ll want to keep reading to learn what will happen to your assets upon your passing. Additionally, you’ll learn how a Pasco County, FL estate planning lawyer can help you through the complexities of this process.

If I Die Without an Estate Plan, What Happens to My Estate?

In the event you pass with no plan in place, it is considered dying in intestate. Instead of having the executor of your estate distribute assets according to the terms and conditions in your will or trust, the state will pass out your assets according to the Flordia line of succession.

Generally, if you have a spouse and children with that spouse, your partner will receive everything. However, if you have a spouse and children from another relationship, your spouse and children will split your estate evenly. If you do not have a spouse or children, the state will give your estate to your parents, followed by siblings and eventually whichever relatives they can locate. If you have no surviving family, the state of Florida will receive the entirety of your estate.

As such, you will have no control over who receives which assets. For example, if you have an estranged child, there is the risk that they will receive assets you did not want them to. As such, taking the time to plan your estate ensures your assets are protected and go to only those who you wish to receive them.

What Documents Should I Consider Setting Up to Protect My Assets?

If you are ready to begin planning your estate, it’s necessary to familiarize yourself with the most important documents. By far, the most crucial document you need for your estate plan is a will. This document explains, in detail, what you would like to happen to your assets upon your death. Additionally, you can set up a trust fund that houses and manages assets on your behalf during your lifetime and upon your passing.

While ensuring your assets are protected is crucial, you may also want to establish a medical power of attorney. This essentially grants a person of your choosing the ability to make medical decisions based on your previously discussed wishes. This can help provide peace of mind that you receive the care you want, even if you are unable to advocate for yourself.

When you need assistance, the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna is here to help. We understand that estate planning can be overwhelming. That’s why our team is here to guide you through this process. We can explain your options so you feel confident making the best choice for your needs. Contact us today to learn more.