Clarifying the estate planning process

| Nov 7, 2020 | Estate Planning

An estate plan allows you to determine who will manage your assets if you are unable to do so. It can also determine who will take possession of your Florida home, bank account or other assets upon your death. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to have an accountant, attorney and other professionals help you put a plan together.

Who will oversee your estate?

A person or entity who is designated as your financial agent can pay bills or otherwise manage your affairs if you become incapacitated. Alternatively, it might be a good idea to create a trust that will be overseen by a friend or family member. The trustee will transfer assets or take other actions in accordance with the trust’s language.

How will assets be transferred upon your death?

Assets that remain in your estate after your death will typically be transferred through a will. If you don’t have a will, state law usually determines how property is allocated. Any property that is meant to be given to a child should be held in a trust as minors cannot legally inherit or manage assets on their own.

Don’t forget about other important details

In addition to a trustee, you will want to name an individual who will represent your estate during probate. It is also important to designate whom you want to receive the death benefit from a life insurance policy or the money remaining in an IRA or 401(k) at the time of your death. As beneficiary designations trump any instructions left in a will, it is important to review them often.

If you have questions about wills, trusts or other estate planning documents, it may be best to talk to an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to review your existing plan documents or help you create new ones. An attorney may be able to represent your interests during probate or if a legal challenge is made to a will.