Choosing what happens to your body after death is an incredibly personal decision. Whether you choose traditional burial in a cemetery or cremation, you’ve likely reached that decision on factors such as personal preference, religious belief, or cost. There’s ultimately no right or wrong answer and what matters is that you declare those wishes in your will.
Almost every Florida resident can benefit from having a will, regardless of how complicated their estate is. It is also important that assets are properly titled so that they go to the intended beneficiaries. Retirement accounts, bank accounts and other assets may be transferred per the terms of a beneficiary designation or based on how they were titled. In most cases, these assets will not be included in a will.
Blended families, sibling rivalry and irresponsible heirs are a few of the challenges that can make estate planning difficult for some people in Florida. Many financial professionals say that in addition to creating a clear estate plan, individuals should try to communicate with family members about the plan. This can help alleviate misunderstandings while the estate owner is still alive. Some people also write a "letter of intent" to be read after their death.
One factor that Florida residents should consider when determining to whom to leave their IRA is whether they want the funds to remain in the family. For people who have no family or who do not want to leave the funds to relatives, a favorite charity can be selected as the beneficiary. For individuals who want to leave the money to their family, there are some additional factors they have to take into account.
A frequently overlooked element of estate planning for some people in Florida might be beneficiary designations. Assets such as retirement accounts, life insurance, and corporate asset accumulation plans are passed using a beneficiary designation instead of a will or a trust. Some assets, such as a home, might involve joint or survivorship ownership.
Loving your children does not necessarily mean you trust them with your money. Sometimes it is prudent to use appropriate estate planning tools to protect your money from being squandered and protect your children from themselves.