Have you created your Florida estate plan? Have you even thought about it? Do you think you are way too young or not old enough yet?  Did you know that it is actually one of the most critical tools that any adult living in Florida should have? Why? Because with a Florida estate plan you can think about what you want for yourself, your loved ones, your business, and your legacy. In addition, it is also more than what happens at the end of your life, although that is an important part of the process. It makes you answer the tough questions including, but not limited to, what would happen if you no longer have the capacity you need to make your own decisions?

So, now that you have decided that you should have a Florida estate plan to plan for your future, what is next? It may be to answer the question:  When is the optimal age to create your Florida estate plan? As Florida estate planning attorneys, we are frequently asked this question.  We have five very different situations below to help you answer the question about when the optimal time is to create your Florida estate plan.

 1.You turn 18. Is your 18th birthday too young to create a Florida estate plan? Absolutely not!  If you do not have a Florida estate plan in place and you are in a car accident or other crisis, there will be no one who has legal authority to make decisions for you in the event you are incapacitated. That means, no one will be able to pay your bills, access your bank accounts, or talk to your doctors. Your Florida estate planning attorney can work with you to make an estate plan that will protect you and put the people who you want to be in charge of you in a crisis in place. Your Florida estate planning attorney will also talk to you about how to create a legacy and plan for a time when you are no longer here.

2. You get married. Marriage is an exciting event in your life. It is a great time to begin planning your life with another person. Therefore, you will want to think about how you will protect and provide for each other. The best way to do that is to work with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney and have a Florida estate plan created for each of you.  

3. You have a child.  As soon as you have children, planning becomes even more critical. Who will take care of them if something happens to you? When should they inherit? How will you provide for their future if you are no longer here? These are the questions your excellent and comprehensive Florida estate plan can answer when you work with a qualified Florida estate planning attorney. 

4. You have received an inheritance. It does not matter whether your inheritance is small or large, it is important to protect it. The person who left you this inheritance may have had clear instructions for you that you want to copy in your own estate plan or you may have inherited through a messy process that you do not want others to go through. No matter your reason, this is an important time to meet with your Florida estate planning attorney and plan ahead. 

5. You want to start a business. As you begin the start up process you need to consider all the ways you should protect yourself, your family, and your business from what comes next.  In fact, your Florida estate planning attorney can help you not only design your Florida estate plan but be able to advise you on your business planning as well.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. At David H. Jacoby Elder Law Advocate, P. A., we are focused on providing thorough, ethical, and timely solutions for our clients and their loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.