Estate planning for stepfamilies can be challenging - but it does not have to be a difficult or impossible task.
The idea of collecting an inheritance can seem, well, exciting. However, if certain protections aren't taken and strategies put in place, gaining an inheritance can cause other financial problems. Florida residents who are choosing beneficiaries as they write-up their estate plans may want to discuss inheritance with intended beneficiaries to ensure that necessary precautions are included in the final estate.
People of all ages are acquiring digital assets at an increased rate. As lives become more data-driven, protections for these assets are becoming more important. Florida residents with any amount of digital assets may want to consider adding this valuable property in their estate planning efforts.
For the average American, estate planning is not necessarily a top priority. After saving for college funds, retirement and day-to-day expenses, estate planning may not seem to be a pressing need until later in life. However, for Florida residents who are wealthy or "super wealthy," not only is it necessary to make estate planning a priority, it is necessary to keep these plans updated. In fact, anyone who has an estate plan should keep it updated, no matter his or her income level.
Many Florida residents may feel that their estate plans are too complicated or complex to review with their family members. While discussing end-of-life matters with children isn't necessarily an easy topic of conversation, it may prove beneficial in the long-run. Involving adult children in estate planning matters can help ensure final wishes are known regarding end-of-life care and asset distribution.
As a whole, the world is turning into a digital society. There are so many online accounts to keep track of and, unfortunately, many people don't think to include these accounts when doing their estate planning. With the majority of Americans, Florida residents included, using the internet, accounting for digital assets is a growing concern.
The discussion of how an estate should be divided among heirs can be a tricky one. While some individuals leave very specific instructions as to who will receive what, others are not as thorough. One aspect of an estate that may not be spelled out in a will or trust includes beneficiaries on life insurance policies. In such cases, Florida residents would benefit from knowing how life insurance is affected by the probate administration process.
Estate planning is an essential part of preparing for the future. Determining who to assign as beneficiaries to certain assets can prove to be a difficult decision for some. Even after those decisions are made, life changes may warrant the modification of an estate plan, including updating beneficiaries on all applicable accounts. Unfortunately, updating beneficiaries is something many individuals, in Florida and across the country, fail to do.
Planning for the end of life can be somewhat disturbing to think about; however, not planning can leave loved ones with a mess to work through. Carefully considering and writing down final wishes, determining beneficiaries and deciding how any remaining assets will be divided, can help prevent any issues or fights between relatives. With so much to think about, many Florida residents may wonder where to even begin in their estate planning. A good place to start would be to review some of the legal documents available to express certain wishes.
Florida residents may be interested in an upcoming Supreme Court decision expected in June. IRA accounts may be treated differently when it comes to inheritance. In some jurisdictions, such as the 8th Circuit, inherited IRAs are exempt from creditors' claims in bankruptcy. In other jurisdictions, most notably the 7th Circuit, they might be open to claims by the heir's creditors. Because of this difference, the Supreme Court is considering how they should be treated when inherited.