Has your spouse or loved one recently passed away? We know this has been and continues to be a traumatic time. The emotional toll it is taking on you is undoubtedly tremendous. Are you having trouble moving ahead and taking any estate planning steps because of sadness, confusion and a loss of purpose? We want you to know our thoughts are with you and we can help.

Did your spouse or loved one pass away with an estate plan? Did you know that one of the greatest gifts anyone can give to their loved ones is a comprehensive estate plan? Having an estate plan in place encompasses both our wishes and the guidance of an experienced Florida estate planning attorney who knows how to navigate the laws in our state. With your spouse’s or loved one’s estate plan in place you now have a roadmap to follow. This roadmap will not only provide direction for the wealth your recently deceased spouse or loved one left to be distributed but a legacy that will continue to live on.

Do you have questions about what estate planning steps to take next to not only follow the goals set out by your spouse or loved one but also how to best protect yourself going forward? We would like to share with you 4 estate planning steps you can take after the death of your spouse or loved one.

First, you should prepare a list of questions you have. Know that it is completely normal to not know what to do next. Therefore, the best thing you can do is to keep an ongoing list of all of your questions so you can obtain the answers to them and move forward.

Secondly, do not hesitate to reach out and get the support you need. This is a difficult time to go through alone. Do you have an adult child, sibling, or trusted advisor who can help you through this process? Do not hesitate to contact them. You can easily feel overwhelmed when facing difficult circumstances like this. So do not be afraid to ask for help.

Thirdly, you need to find the estate planning of your spouse or loved one. Do you currently have the estate plan? Do you know if it is the original? Are you named as the personal representative of the last will and testament or trustee of the trust agreement? Do not worry or feel alone if you do not know the answer to these questions or have concerns about them. Your estate planning attorney can help you decide what to do next.

Finally, be sure to consult with a Florida estate planning attorney who is experienced in this area. You need to be aware that there are specific statutes and rules governing the matters of probate or estate administration, for a last will and testament, and trust administration, for trust agreements. Therefore, know that there is no replacement for experience in this area. Be sure to research and know that you are working with an attorney who is not only familiar with estate planning but has significant experience in handling these matters for the family.

Now, if your loved one did not have an estate plan, meeting with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney is even more important. Also, time is of the essence. You will need the guidance of an attorney who understands the issues facing you when your loved one dies intestate, or without a last will and testament. Our law firm is able to address these challenges and assist you under these circumstances.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers and we want to support you. Planning for the future is critical to ensure that your goals for the end of life are achieved. We know this article may raise more questions that it answers. We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering.