Choosing Beneficiaries When Creating An Estate Plan
Most people draft an estate plan so they can choose beneficiaries and feel secure knowing those heirs will receive an inheritance when they pass away. Determining who to designate as beneficiaries is not a task that should be taken lightly. If you have already started thinking about creating an estate plan, you likely know who you want to designate as beneficiaries. However, there are still certain factors to consider. Below, our Daytona Beach estate planning lawyer explains what these are.
Speak to an Attorney
When drafting your will and other important estate planning documents, it is always important to speak to an estate planning lawyer. A lawyer will review your entire situation and gain an understanding of your goals so you can draft an estate plan that specifically reflects your last wishes. Without the help of an attorney, you might make a mistake that may render your will, trust, and other components of your estate plan void. This is just like having no plan at all. A lawyer will make sure no mistakes are made and that your plan is enforced.
Name People You Do Not Want as Heirs
Most people know it is important to include beneficiaries in their estate plan. However, it is equally important that you specifically name people you do not want to receive any of your property. Name them in writing and specify that you do not want them to receive any of your assets. If you do not take these steps, a person you do not want to inherit anything may be notified of any action in your estate plan. This opens it up to challenges, and could make probate take even longer.
Choose Beneficiaries for All Accounts
Just as you should name beneficiaries in a will or trust, you should also name beneficiaries on your insurance policies, bank accounts, and investment accounts. These accounts may include payable-on-death (POD) and transfer-on-death (TOD) accounts. These accounts do not have to go through probate, which can allow your beneficiaries to receive their inheritance even sooner.
Know When to Use Trusts
Trusts are a very important part of many estate plans. Not only do they allow your loved ones to avoid the probate process, but it can also give you more control over how and when the assets are used. For example, you may not want your 18-year-old child to receive a large inheritance all at once. Instead, you may want them to receive incremental amounts. A trust can help ensure this.
Regularly Review Beneficiaries
Just as you should review your entire estate plan regularly, you also need to review your chosen beneficiaries. You should review your beneficiaries any time there is a marriage life event such as a birth, death, marriage, or divorce. Absent any significant life events, you should still review your beneficiaries every three to five years.
Call Our Estate Planning Lawyer in Daytona Beach for Help
If you have questions about choosing beneficiaries, or any other part of your estate plan, our Daytona Beach estate planning lawyer at Bundza & Rodriguez can help. Call us now at 386-252-5170 or contact us online to schedule a case evaluation and to get the answers you need.