Law Office of Amy B. Van Fossen, P.A. - Elder Law

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Tips for high net worth estate planning

Estate planning can introduce some particular challenges for people in high net worth families in Florida. First, property owners need to be as thorough as possible. This means fully understanding whether there are any special issues that need attention. For example, if a person has property in another country, an estate plan created in the United States may not cover it.

Some people may assume that a safe deposit box is the right place to keep estate planning documents, but it may be impossible for someone to access this without proof of being the executor. It is important for the executor to have access to these documents along with a list of assets and any necessary passwords. People should also consider discussing the estate plan with family members. This can reduce the likelihood of any surprises that could lead to conflict. Some families may bring in a counselor or another third party to have this meeting.

It is important to make the right choices about who will take on roles such as executor and trustee. The trustee role in particular can be complex and time-consuming and may require expertise in legal and financial matters. A corporate trustee may be a better choice than a family member. Finally, people may want to consider whether there are advantages to setting up a trust in another state.

An attorney may help a person deal with these and other issues involved in estate planning. Whether or not people have many assets, issue may arise in blended families or in choosing people to take over medical and financial decision-making if a person becomes incapacitated. Failing to regularly review and update the estate plan after its initial creation can also be a problem. Changes in tax law, assets and family members could cause it to fall out of date.