What should go into an estate plan?

Preparing an estate plan may feel daunting. However, without a clear plan for what happens after you die, your family may face financial hardships.

A comprehensive estate plan contains documents that may help you when you are at your most vulnerable. To protect yourself and your family from needless suffering, consider adding these documents to your estate plan.


The most fundamental estate document is a will. Under Florida law, if a person owns property and dies without a will, the estate goes through intestacy proceedings. This process allows anyone who may have a claim to your property, usually by blood relation, to try and gain ownership of your estate. To avoid the delay in getting your property to those you love, you should create a will. At its most basic, a will appoints an executor who will handle disposing of your debts and property in the manner you set out in the will. A will is also the place where you can designate guardians for minor children.

Advanced directives

There may come a time when you are unable to give consent for medical procedures or life support. This may happen after you sustain a serious injury or illness that renders you unconscious or incapable of making sound decisions. You should consider drafting advanced directives as part of your estate plan. A living will details when you want lifesaving measures to end. It informs those in charge of who you want to have power over making these decisions on your behalf.

An estate plan is more than a list of your possessions and debts. It also accounts for what happens to the people you love the most and yourself at your most vulnerable.

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