Where To Start With Your Estate Plan

April 20, 2020

If you are among the majority of American adults who have not done anything to create an estate plan for themselves, don’t feel bad at all! Planning for your eventual demise is an uncomfortable thought for most people, and there is a prevailing attitude that estate planning is only for the wealthy. That is not true for reasons we will cover in this blog, which is intended to act as a soft introduction to estate planning for Floridians who haven’t given much thought to the subject previously.

Why Does the Ordinary Adult Need an Estate Plan?

Perhaps your estate isn’t worth enough to be subject to the federal estate tax ($11.58 million per person in 2020), but there must be some assets worth something to you and your loved ones. If you do not put together an estate plan, there is a good chance that your sleek motorcycle will go to a member of your family who wouldn’t necessarily be your first choice. With a Last Will and Testament, you can ensure that items of your estate plan will go to the intended beneficiaries.

Also, creating at least a rudimentary estate plan is vitally important if you have minor children. Losing both you and your spouse at the same time is unthinkable, but you absolutely need to be prepared for that remote possibility. You can name who you would want to be guardians of your children in your estate plan. To further protect your children in the event that something happened to you, you can create a trust that your children can access once they turn 18.

What Documents Should Be in Your Estate Plan?

Along with your Last Will and Testament and a trust, many estate planners at least consider including the following documents:

  • Living Will. This document lays out your wishes regarding end-of-life medical care. A DNR order is a common attachment in estate plans.
  • Health care surrogate. This estate-planning tool names someone to be your representative and make medical decisions for you when you no longer have capacity.
  • Durable power of attorney. This empowers someone you trust to sign off on certain financial matters for you. It can be something as simple as signing a business contract for you while you are out of town.
  • Revocable living trust. A trust is an estate-planning document in which you may place assets, such as your house, land, or other large piece of property, so that it can be efficiently passed off to a trustee. Additionally, trusts allow your loved ones to avoid probate when you pass away.


In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, many Floridians are taking a closer look at their estate plan – if they have one. If you want to get started on a plan to ensure your loved ones are taken care of, get in touch with Schlegel Livingston, LLC today for a free consultation.