You’ve done it! After years of procrastination and worry, you finally made an estate plan to provide for your loved ones after you’re gone. While you may feel as if an enormous weight has been lifted off your shoulders, you could be experiencing a false euphoria. After all, a last will and testament downloaded from the internet has very different implications than documents drafted by an experienced Florida estate planning lawyer—and there’s nothing you can do but hope for the best during your lifetime, right?
Test-Driving Your Plan Is the Only Way to Know If it Works
Too many people assume that an estate plan is the same thing as the right estate plan simply because they don’t know how the provisions they put in place will be enacted after their death. For this reason, one of the key services we provide after creating or updating your estate plan is taking it for a “test drive.”
Once all of the component parts have been added to your estate plan, we do a comprehensive trial run as if you had passed away and your plan was being implemented immediately. We believe this is the only way to know if all of the plans you made on paper are going to pan out as you had hoped in the real world.
A few questions we seek to answer in these trial runs include:
- Is your trust fully funded? We can’t tell you how many people insist on a trust-based estate plan, list all of the assets they want to put in the trust, and then never get around to actually funding the trust. We determine whether your selected assets have been properly transferred into your trust and offer to complete the process if any assets have been unintentionally left out for the probate court.
- Who are your designated beneficiaries? If it’s been a while since you created your estate plan, your beneficiary designations may be out of date, causing unintended consequences for your heirs. Have certain beneficiaries passed away since the last update to your plan? Have others come of age? Have you been married or divorced, and have your chosen beneficiaries been affected by the change? If you have just finished making your plan, your beneficiary designations may be accurate in your will, but you may have neglected to put their names on the payable on death designations in your accounts.
- Where are your assets? The personal representative to your estate will have difficulty distributing assets if they are unable to find them. We create a detailed inventory of all of your assets, including where each one is located, the creditor or holder of the deed, addresses of banks holding safe deposit boxes (and the location of the keys), and account IDs and passwords for digital assets like social media accounts and cryptocurrency.
- What happens to your business? If you own a business or partial interest in a company, you may be able to pass down your shares to your beneficiaries. However, there is only one of you—and none of your heirs may have the same professional qualifications or the desire to carry on the business. We implement your succession plan to see who will control your business and which beneficiaries will ultimately benefit (or suffer) based on the strength of the plan.
- Are there any creative solutions that can be used to your advantage? Different people have different goals, so no two estate plans will be exactly alike. That said, our legal team has spent years coming up with a variety of wealth-protection strategies to benefit your children and ensure that you pass on your valuable assets to your heirs.
Schedule Your Estate Plan Review Today
At Yolofsky Law, we recommend reviewing your plan annually, or at least every three years, to ensure maximum protection for your heirs. Don’t leave anything up to chance! Give us a call today or fill out our online contact form to discuss your options.