Florida employers are increasingly abandoning the traditional pension plan, a move that is now placing the responsibility for retirement savings square on the shoulders of employees. A growing base of experts is now advocating for more awareness about estate planning, as it is a critical step in moving toward a secure financial future. Among the tasks required to develop a comprehensive estate plan: drafting a will.

Experts stress the importance of having your personal affairs in order before it is too late. Transferring an estate to another generation can be an overwhelming task, but a step-by-step approach to estate planning can guarantee that your family is ready when the day comes. To facilitate the quick transfer of your estate after death, consider taking some simple steps that will make the process much easier.

To start your estate plan, you will need to come up with a comprehensive list of all of your assets. After all, it is difficult to start drafting your will unless you know what you are able to bequeath. Make sure to take a thorough inventory of assets such as property, investments, insurance policies and retirement savings. Next, you will need to designate someone to act in your stead through a durable power of attorney. You should also choose a trusted family member or friend to be your health care proxy. This will ensure that your last wishes about your medical care will be carried out appropriately.

Remember to keep an open mind about the process. Your probate attorney may ask you to consider such unfamiliar concepts as establishing a trust or moving business assets into more secure financial locations. If that is the case, carefully consider your options. Make sure to re-evaluate your estate plan after every major life event – marriage or having a child, for example – to make sure that your will is up-to-date at the time of your death.

Luis E. Barreto