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Living Without Regrets: Estate Planning Port St.Lucie City, Florida for the

Average Person

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Port St. Lucie City, Florida Estate Planning and Trust Services

What if you could live a life free of regrets?

What if you knew that when you died, your estate would be distributed to the people and organizations you care about in exactly the way that will bring them the most joy and happiness?

You can do this.

The key is planning ahead by preparing an estate plan in Port St.Lucie City, Florida.

This article discusses how to develop an effective estate plan for average people who don't have lots of assets or complicated family relationships.

Many people assume that estate planning is only for the wealthy,

but this isn't true.

Estate planning can be done with very simple documents—in fact, some of these documents are available at no cost on the Internet or from your lawyer.

If you have a family and want to leave them more than just an explanation of where all your stuff goes, you need an estate plan.

Estate planning does not have to be expensive or complicated.

Most people do not require a complex will or trust document in order to create an effective estate plan. Because these documents are so common, they can usually be found pre-formatted for specific use on the Internet at no cost—you just need to download, fill in the blanks and have it witnessed.

These documents can be found for free on various legal websites or you may find them available through your lawyer at a reasonable cost—sometimes as little as $100-$200 depending upon your circumstances. If this is too much money, ask whether they would provide one document that meets all your needs or whether they would do each document separately to meet the specific need.

Good estate planning is often more impactful for families with modest assets than for those with significant ones.

Many individuals and families have a lot of their net worth tied up in their homes—and that's not necessarily bad thing. But if you own your home free-and-clear, it may be time to consider what happens when you die.

If the only asset is one house and there are no complicated family circumstances, it may be fine to leave the house to your children or whomever you choose. However, if there are other assets like insurance policies, retirement accounts and investments that would need to be distributed in order for everything else to flow smoothly—and especially if anyone is dependent upon this income for their day-to-day living expenses (e.g. children and grandchildren)—the simplest solution is to create a trust document that will hold the house for family members until they can use it upon your death.

This type of trust typically ensures that everyone benefits from home ownership including those who live there, while managing any debts or expenses associated with upkeep and maintenance as well as estate taxes (if applicable).

An Estate Plan Begins with a Will or Living Trust

If you have minor children, it is important to create a will that outlines who they should live with and how their needs are met. If there is no clear decision or if the parents cannot agree on what's best for them, this can lead to costly litigation in order to resolve these issues. This also applies whether your children live with you or not and whether or not you are married.

If there is no will, the law in your jurisdiction (often the state where you live) determines who should raise your children if both parents die. The court might appoint a family friend to serve as guardian of the person (custodian). In some cases, this arrangement may be appropriate. But for many families, it's not the best way to go.

A will can also help avoid a court battle over funeral arrangements and final wishes . These issues are often very personal and difficult for everyone involved. The law provides guidance as to how these decisions should be made but it doesn't necessarily reflect what you would want. Without a will, the court makes these decisions for you and your family is forced to rely on what they think is best or what might be easiest for them.

Even if everything goes smoothly, without a will it's difficult to make sure that everyone has appropriate access to important documents such as insurance policies, retirement account statements, and investment accounts .

Proper estate planning in Port St.Lucie City, Florida often includes a will, trust and other documents depending upon your circumstances. If this is too much money or if you have questions about what's best for you, ask an experienced attorney to prepare one document that meets all your needs. Or they may be able to do each document separately in order to meet the specific need.

Not everything you own will go through probate. But, if it does, the attorney fees are likely to be more than what you would have paid for a will or trust document.

Lastly, there's another method that can help avoid probate altogether—a living revocable trust. This is often better for married couples who share ownership of their home and other assets because they don't need to create separate documents for each of them. Some states allow you to transfer ownership (and avoid probate) with a simple affidavit instead of having to record the trust document .

Living trusts are commonly used by people who own large amounts of property or business interests, particularly when they don't want their beneficiaries' names on title until after they die.

This is just a brief overview of estate planning in Port St.Lucie City, Florida and probate. There are many other issues to consider such as disability, incapacity and long-term care . Proper preparation can save your family time, money and stress in the event that something happens to you.

If you don't have an estate plan yet, call us for help.

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