Individuals in Florida who are estate planning might wonder how they should divide up their assets among their children. For example, if their children have different income levels and needs, they might wonder whether they should leave less for the more secure child and more for the child who may need it more.
An estate plan could fall apart if a beneficiary form is not filled out properly. For instance, failing to update a beneficiary form could result in a first spouse or deceased relative receiving assets. If a beneficiary passes on prior to receiving assets, a judge typically has the authority to decide who gets the asset. Generally, these documents supersede any other estate planning document, which makes it important to revise the provisions when necessary.
When individuals are deciding who will inherit from their estates, it is important to consider a series of questions. The first question to answer is how much should go to heirs and how much should go to charity. Once that ratio has been determined, it may be worthwhile to talk to all beneficiaries to let them know how much they can expect to receive.
Most Florida residents are aware that a drafting a will is a prudent step to take. A will can help to reduce tax exposure and ensure that heirs receive as much of an estate as possible. However, many people do not realize that retirement accounts, such as IRAs and 401K plans, may not be covered by a will. The law in the area will give the beneficiary clauses of retirement accounts precedence over the terms of a will. This means that keeping the beneficiaries on these accounts up to date is an important part of estate planning.
Florida individuals who would like to provide their children with an inheritance have several methods to consider. With estate planning, they can make their wishes well known. In some situations, parents may wish to provide inheritances of different amounts to their children. In this situation, it is best for them to create their estate plan early in the process and explain the disparity to their children.
Florida residents who own special collections may be interested in including them in their estate plans. Leaving a collection to one or more heirs may be included in a last will and testament. However, there may be benefits in giving away beloved items while an individual is still living. Determining personal goals for a particular collection may help.
Many Florida residents who have accumulated wealth hope to pass their fortunes down to their children and grandchildren. They are often concerned, though, that the money will be used wisely. One way for a person to ensure that their money they worked so hard for is spent appropriately is to set up a trust, allowing the grantor to set up specific instruction for how the assets will be disbursed to heirs.
When a Florida parent believes that one or more children deserve a larger stake in his or her estate, they may decide to wait until their death before communicating this information. The parent may showcase what may be considered favoritism in his or her last will and testament. There are several reasons for this disparity in inheritances and a few alternatives to fulfill the parent's final wishes while minimizing hurt feelings.
Say you want to do what most estate planners in Florida want to do: leave your assets to your chosen heirs and beneficiaries with as little tax liability and probate friction as possible. Unfortunately, what happens in many cases is that unforeseen incidents in beneficiaries' lives result in the quick draining of inheritances.
Modern families often involve complex relationships, and sometimes this complexity can make decisions difficult during the estate planning process. Individuals creating wills may need to consider stepchildren, divorces, adoptions and other nontraditional family structures. With these issues in mind, our Orlando readers might be interested to hear that benefactors are beginning to use personal values to divide property in their wills.