For many Florida residents, an estate plan is an excellent way to pass along assets to relatives. Without a will and other legal documents, assets can be tied up in probate court for an extended period of time. Probate court can become even more expensive and time-consuming if people wish to leave assets to non-traditional heirs. Fortunately, such was not the case with a woman who left a generous gift through her estate plan to the Humane Society.
The woman had long been a volunteer in her community. She was considered a meticulous person with an eye for detail. While the woman was active in volunteer work, she had no children, which may be one reason she felt such kinship with the animals she helped through the Humane Society. Her particular joy was working with cats, whom she considered her favorite of the many animals the society cared for.
The woman passed away in October of 2010, and through her will she was able to leave a generous financial gift to the organization she so loved. Because she had an estate plan that included her expressed desire to leave this gift, the transfer was completed smoothly and quickly--just as she would have wanted it, one might presume.
Florida residents can also make things easier for both their traditional and non-traditional heirs by having a will drafted that includes specific instructions about asset distribution. Carefully drafting such a document helps to prevent probate and takes the guesswork out of who should get what.
Source: Naperville Sun, "Estate planning builds legacy for NAHS pets," Nov. 22, 2011