J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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Attorney and CPA

The importance of estate planning in today's economic climate

Planning how one's estate should be administered is a dull topic for most people in their youth. But estate planning should also be a part of any Florida resident's to-do list. It ensures that one's estate will be distributed to his or her siblings, spouse or any other entity or person of the testator's choosing in a peaceful and amicable way.

Estate planning also ensures that the testator's estate is administered according to his or her values and ideals. If a person dies without a will or a trust, then Florida intestate laws will likely come into effect; and the person's estate will be administered in accordance with those laws, regardless of the person's wishes.

An AARP report shows that nearly 75 percent of Americans feel themselves to be unprepared for retirement. Also, over 66 percent feel that Social Security income will eventually not exist as it does now. The depressing economic climate has caused many Americans to feel unconfident about their future, but they should still try to plan their estates and retirement.

Estate planning is a must for persons approaching retirement or for those suffering from chronic illnesses. People who are going through this process must be aware of changes in financial policies, insurance plans, pension plans and other instruments that come into play after a death, divorce or birth, so as to avoid unnecessary complications. Provisions for emergencies should also be made by creating trusts and making plans to address emergency situations.

In every case, a comprehensive estate plan requires help from an experienced legal professional with experience in estate and probate matters. An attorney can assist individuals by providing advice on how to plan for emergencies and eventual death by creating a will or trust.

Source: Fox Business, "Retirement Planning, Now More than Ever!" Bo Trumbo, Jan. 2, 2013

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