People in Florida generally prefer not to contemplate their own deaths. For this reason, many people delay estate planning or ignore it altogether. However, estate planning is critical for protecting one’s assets long-term. Here are some tips for getting started with developing a strong estate plan in the new year.

First, it is important to create a will. This document can help with passing along non-retirement assets. A will does not need to address retirement assets because life insurance and retirement accounts pass to their designated beneficiaries instead.

Second, setting up a trust may be in an asset owner’s best interest as part of the estate planning process. Trusts are particularly valuable for those with minor beneficiaries or children with disabilities. In addition, asset owners with beneficiaries who are irresponsible or have creditor issues may want to create trusts. A major benefit of a trust is that the assets in it are not subject to the probate process. Trusts also provide privacy, as the assets placed in trusts are not public records like wills are.

Figuring out how to create a comprehensive will or set up a trust in Florida can understandably be intimidating and overwhelming. This is especially true for individuals with a large number of assets that must be distributed when they pass away. However, an attorney can help to generate these documents during the estate planning process. The attorney’s ultimate goal is to make sure that the client’s wishes and best interests are upheld through well-thought-out estate planning.