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How Estate Planning Secures Your Family’s Future

“What are your plans for the future?” This question is thrown around in many contexts, whether the subject is school, your career, or virtually any stage of life. You may have been asked this question on more than one occasion.

Of course, “plans for the future” also include the end of life. While it may not be a concern at the top of your mind, planning is essential to protecting your family—and your interests.

Here’s how estate planning can be a valuable tool for securing your future and your family's well-being.

What is Estate Planning?

Estate planning is how you would like your estate to be handled after you pass away or are incapacitated and unable to handle things on your own. It includes plans for managing and transferring your estate after your death, using a will, trust, insurance policies, and other devices.

What is an “estate”? Well, it’s practically everything you own. Your estate is comprised of all your assets and property, including:

  • Personal possessions
  • Collections and memorabilia
  • Your house and land
  • Investment properties
  • Bank accounts
  • Investment portfolio
  • Cars, boats, and recreational vehicles
  • And so much more

Estate planning ensures your assets go to the right people. This service has risen in popularity over the years as more transparent conversations online center around how to protect your assets and loved ones.

Wills and trusts are the two most common vehicles for estate planning. Although there are many overlaps between them, they are both legally enforceable ways for someone to distribute their assets after passing or becoming incapacitated.

The most significant difference between the two is how each takes effect: a will does not take effect until you pass away, while a trust takes effect immediately upon signing and funding it.

The purpose of wills and trusts is to:

  • Name heirs and beneficiaries
  • Designate where your assets go
  • Specify final arrangements

“How Does Estate Planning Benefit Me?”

Estate planning has many benefits. Here are just a few examples:

  • Establishes peace of mind: The passing of a loved one can be an emotionally charged time for family and friends. An unresolved estate leaves much ambiguity in your wishes. Consequently, arguments amongst relatives about who gets what might flare up during a time that should be honoring your life and legacy.


  • Leaves clear directions: By setting up a trust or will, you also leave clear directions for your family. The involved parties will learn about your intentions regarding passing down your assets and final wishes. Estate planning resolves much uncertainty for when the time comes.


  • Softens the costs of probate: “Probate” is a legal process where a court of law decides what happens to a deceased person’s estate. It determines if a will exists, is valid, and determines a deceased person’s heirs and beneficiaries. As you can imagine, probate is costly and time-consuming, and many of the issues can be avoided if you already have an established will or trust to guide the execution of your estate.


  • Potentially protects loved ones from sudden tax burdens: Passing on your assets to your heirs and beneficiaries can help them prepare for the future. However, federal and state estate taxes can leave your loved ones ill-prepared for a potential financial burden. Estate planning can allow your heirs to manage these taxes more effectively.

Who Needs an Estate Plan?

Everyone can benefit from having an estate plan. One of the simplest ways to navigate the future’s uncertainties is to plan for it. While it may be impossible to control the outcome of every situation, you are totally within your power to manage your estate and leave a legacy to your loved ones.

It is generally advisable to establish an estate plan once someone starts working or reaches 18 years of age. Moreover, you don’t have to be supremely wealthy, elderly, or have a specific type of bank account. Estate plans aren’t just for when you pass away, either.

These plans can include health directives and long-term healthcare wishes. Also known as “living wills” and “advance health directives,” these legal documents can consist of directions if you are incapacitated or unable to make decisions independently. An estate plan speaks for you, ensuring your loved ones don’t have to make unthinkable decisions or have doubts about what you want.

By planning for your future, you can leave a legacy to your loved ones. Plan your estate now and build a solid foundation for your family.

To support your estate planning needs, First Florida has partnered with Love My Credit Union Rewards and Trust & Will to bring you an easy, affordable, and secure way to create an estate plan. Trust & Will, an online estate planning platform, has helped over half a million families secure their legacies. Members can receive a 20% discount on any estate plan with Trust & Will. Click here to learn more.


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