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Should I designate beneficiaries?

For those in Florida or elsewhere, deciding who gets what after their deaths can be a difficult decision. Some may be afraid of hurting feelings, or they simply cannot decide how they want things divided out. While it is possible for everything to work out in the end by having an estate go through the probate process, probate can be completed much faster by designating beneficiaries and making things a little easier for one's surviving family members.

In choosing to designate beneficiaries, one gets to choose who gets what and how much, which is usually listed as a percentage. So, it is possible to divide, say a retirement or other financial account, among multiple beneficiaries by listing all of their names and listing the percentage each is to receive. This is, understandably, a tough decision, as one will have to give serious thought as to how a beneficiary might handle receiving an monetary inheritance. This is something that can be addressed as well, though.

It is possible to provide very specific instructions as to how much a beneficiary can receive at a time. An inheritance can actually be spread out over the course of a beneficiary's life. When it comes to money coming from retirement accounts this can be a good thing, and can actually reduce the amount of taxes a beneficiary may have to pay.

In the end, choosing to designate beneficiaries can be considered a positive choice. While the decision may not be easy, doing so can ensure that an estate is divvied out to one's exact specifications. Florida residents can seek legal help when creating estate plans in order to make sure their final wishes are properly documented and that -- if desired -- beneficiaries are listed appropriately on all accounts.

Source:, "Why Your Will Should Name Designated Beneficiaries", George D. Lambert, Accessed on Dec. 3, 2015

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