J. Kelly Kennedy, Attorney/CPA, PLLC

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Lower financial stress in 2014 with estate planning

Florida residents may see the new year as an opportunity to develop new habits. Perhaps this means sorting out one's finances -- starting the new year on the right foot by taking care of financial necessities in order to reduce economic stress. This is often done with a goal-based plan. For many, part of this plan may involve the diligent construction of an estate plan.

Some Florida residents may find it strange to think about death at the beginning of the new year, but it is necessary in order to complete an estate plan and ensure that loved ones are taken care of in the case of the estate planner's passing. This is an important part of the goal-based plan many may wish to carry out in the new year. In the absence of an estate plan, loved ones are left quarreling over what to do with assets and properties. Plus, they may not know what to do should the person fall into a state of terminal illness or unconsciousness.

All of a person's wishes regarding these matters can be made known by drafting estate planning documents. Whether it is appointing a guardian to care for children after a person's passing, or purchasing insurance so heirs are not left with a hefty tax bill, putting together an estate plan at the start of 2014 can put one's mind at ease.

Whatever one's end-of-life wishes are, they can be included in the estate plan in order to ensure that they are carried out. Knowing that one's wishes will be considered upon their passing and that their loved ones will not be left with a financial mess can help to lower Florida residents' overall economic stress in 2014.

Source: Cullman Times, "10 easy-to-do steps to lower economic stress in 2014," Barry Ritholtz, Dec. 30, 2013

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