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Other reasons to draft an estate plan

An estate plan is often considered a paramount step to take in one's life. While residents in Florida often initiate this process to avoid probate, address future tax implication, provide for a spouse or family members, or preserve a family business, these are not the only reason individuals take the major step to draft an estate plan.

Because an estate plan can include a wide variety of documents, estate planning can serve many purposes. While the reasons discussed here are the less common reasons for initiating or modifying an estate plan, this post will explore them and the reasons individuals utilize them to draft an estate plan.

In some cases, one will draft an estate plan in order to incentivize family behaviors. Because children have learned behaviors based on rewards and punishments, this process can continually be used even through an estate plan document. Wills and trusts are used to provide incentives in order to promote the success of loved ones and reinforce family values.

Estate planning documents are also used to protect from family raiders. It is not uncommon for family members or even acquaintances of a deceased individual to enter the home or business of the decedent in order to help themselves to estate assets. Including an inventory list helps to inform beneficiaries of what they will inherit and what is actually included in the estate. This also helps to prevent asset hijackings.

Finally, individuals can use an estate plan to help with asset protection and asset distribution if they move to another state or country. Moving can complicate how property is viewed, especially if a testator is married. Additionally, some jurisdictions can restrict who can serve as an executor. Therefore, if an individual has moved, he or she will likely have to update their estate planning documents.

No matter the reason for drafting an estate plan, individuals should understand the importance of any and all documents that could be included in this process. This will help ensure that their wishes and desires are met and fulfilled.

Source: Wealthmanagement.com, "The Other Reasons For Estate Planning," Janice A. Forgays, Feb 1, 2017

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