Every adult should have an estate plan in place, yet more than half of Americans do not. Even when people understand the need for an estate plan, the overwhelming nature of creating one can prevent them from taking charge and crafting a satisfying plan. Creating an estate plan is essential for many reasons, one of which is avoiding intestate succession. This occurs when someone dies without a will, at which point their estate becomes “intestate” and is subject to much more control by the state. By creating your comprehensive estate plan with your attorney at The Millman Law Group, you can avoid the following consequences of intestate succession in Florida.
The State of Florida Creates Your Estate Plan
You give up any ability to decide what happens to your assets when you leave behind an intestate estate. Florida’s intestate succession laws will determine how your assets are distributed if you die intestate. Those laws will detail how assets should be passed down to close family members. If you want to leave any assets to friends or charitable organizations or want to decide which family members receive what, you need to create your estate plan.
Disputes Are Likelier
If you fail to leave behind even a basic will, it will be impossible for others to know how you intend to distribute assets. It also makes it impossible to know who you would have wanted to handle the administration of your estate. Heirs frequently dispute asset distribution and use. For example, if assets must be sold to pay creditors or divide the estate accordingly, many family members may disagree over what to sell. These disputes can be expensive and lengthy and cause long-term division among family members.
Your Estate May Lose Assets
There are some typical costs involved in probating an estate. These costs will increase when you leave behind an intestate estate. The probate process will take longer, and disputes are likelier, increasing the expense of the process. The higher the cost of probate, the fewer assets are left at the end to distribute to your heirs.
You Cannot Choose Who Administers Your Estate
When you die without a will, Florida law will lay out who will be the personal representative/executor of your estate. However, family members or friends may dispute that person having this control over your estate. If there is a dispute, a judge will ultimately decide who is appointed to the role of personal representative.
If someone you do not trust is appointed, they may fail to handle your estate properly. When you create your will, however, you specify your personal representative, rather than allowing laws or judges to decide.
Your Heirs Will Have to Wait to Receive Assets
Probate can be expensive and time-consuming, which is why many people take steps to avoid it within their estate plan. However, if your heirs have to contend with your intestate succession, they cannot avoid probate. Assets that might have been distributed immediately to loved ones can now end up stuck in probate for months, or even years, before being distributed. To avoid intestate succession and to ensure a smooth experience for your loved ones, create your estate plan today with an experienced attorney.
Estate Planning Made Easy With Millman Law Group
Millman Law Group, PLLC is rare because it’s one of the only law firms that offer life planning in South Florida. From life care planning to the preparation of detailed estate plans, Millman Law Group has committed to serving Floridian elderly communities in Boca Raton, Palm Beach County, Ocean Ridge, Hillsboro Beach, and many other areas since 2018. Our dedicated team also specializes in special needs trusts and catering to any age demographic because we know for certain it’s never too early to start preparing you and your family for your future. For the latest news in estate planning and elder care law, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and Pinterest. You can also contact us at 561-463-6480.