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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Florida parents who have special needs children might want to think about their estate plans in a way that might address the future needs of their offspring. This might require some careful thought and some different types of approaches.
Florida fans of actor Luke Perry, who died suddenly of a stroke at the age of 52, might wonder whether he had an estate plan in place to protect his family. The fact that Perry's family made the decision to take him off life support after it became clear that he would not recover suggests that he had made arrangements using a power of attorney or health care directive to appoint someone to make medical decisions on his behalf. Without these, a family might have to get a court order to allow a loved one to be removed from life support, particularly if they disagree.