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.
It is important to know that a beneficiary designation will overrule any language in a will. Furthermore, it is possible for individuals to name their estates as beneficiaries to life insurance or other assets. Typically, an individual will name a beneficiary when applying for a life insurance policy or setting up a retirement account. If assets are to be held in a trust, they should be titled in the trust’s name.
Property that is owned jointly by two or more individuals may be transferred to the surviving owner after the other passes away. However, it is also possible that the property will be transferred back to an individual’s estate or another party depending on how the title was structured. It may be worth consulting with an attorney to determine if a title or beneficiary designation violates community property or other laws related to the transfer of property.
The estate planning process can involve considering various different strategies. Individuals may be able to use plan documents to transfer property or name a guardian for their children. Estate planning documents could also name a power of attorney to make decisions on the creator’s behalf in cases of incapacitation. Legal counsel may help a client edit an estate plan at any time.