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Estate plans can also include digital assets

Many people in Florida may think primarily of writing a will to handle their real estate, bank accounts and other assets when they consider estate planning. Making this type of plan can be important for many reasons, providing peace of mind and structuring documents that ensure that people can direct their assets in line with their wishes. A proper plan can also help to ease the burden of court filings and administrative work for a grieving family. However, estate plans in the modern era also require thinking about different kinds of property, especially digital assets.

Choosing guardians is an important estate planning step

Choosing a guardian to take care of minor children is among the most difficult and important decisions made by Florida parents during the estate planning process. Neglecting to take this step leaves important decisions that parents would likely want to have control over in the hands of the court. Furthermore, it can also give rise to bitter legal disputes that drain estates and divide families.

Titling assets a critical part of an estate plan

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.

Family challenges in creating an estate plan

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.

Naming IRA beneficiaries

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.

Beneficiary designations and estate planning

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.

Planning for a smooth estate transition

For many people in Pennsylvania, one of the most important inspirations to develop their family wealth is the potential to leave a legacy behind to future generations. In order to make sure that this dream is realized, however, it is important to put in place a plan that makes it possible. This is especially the case for people with substantial assets that they plan to pass on. In addition to developing an initial plan, people need to be prepared to check in regularly, around every three to five years.

What to avoid when making beneficiary designations

Those who are going through the estate planning process in Florida should understand that a beneficiary designation trumps a will. Typically, retirement accounts are transferred through a beneficiary designation, and the same can happen with other assets as well. While it is relatively easy to create such a designation, it is also relatively easy to make an error while doing so. For instance, leaving an asset to a minor may not be the best idea.

Reflecting a lifestyle through an estate plan

When wealthy Florida residents think about their future, they often want their lifestyle to be reflected in their estate plans. In order to accomplish this goal, they often use trusts. These trusts can be used in order to avoid probate court and can contain multiple subtrusts. They are usually revocable while the grantor is alive and irrevocable upon death. While most assets will pass through these trusts, the estate plan may also contain a will to handle certain matters.

Kramer A. Litvak, P.A.
226 East Government Street
Pensacola, FL 32502

Toll Free: 866-717-9528
Phone: 850-308-1677
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