The question of who will inherit your assets when you die is a primary part of estate planning and, in some cases, it is the reason why so many individuals put off the task. Indeed, the process of deciding heirs requires a lot of consideration in order to avoid emotional family issues later on down the road. Fortunately, a properly planned will can do a lot to avoid such problems.
While there is no correct answer to the question of how you should distribute your assets, there are some important questions an individual can ask to help the process along. For example, do you plan to give any of your money to charity? How much will go to charity and how much will go to family and friends?
Will your assets be divided equally or will they be divided based on good behavior or need? If the division is based on behavior, then what kind of behavior will be rewarded? Some individuals, for example, may wish to reward a relative for helping with their care and daily needs. Others may wish to reward a relative who was always close to them and always available to visit and talk on the phone.
Other questions relate to how the assets will be distributed and over what kind of time frame. In a lot of cases, money will be transferred all at once but sometimes, individuals may find it more appropriate to create a trust fund, which will distribute assets slowly over a longer period of time.
There is a long list other questions and issues that Florida residents will want to consider while creating their wills and estate plans. For example, do you want to distribute some of your assets prior to death in a way that avoids gift taxes and estate taxes? Also, what will you do with your tangible assets like jewelry, antiques and furniture? By going through these and other questions with an attorney, Florida residents an put together an estate plan that is perfectly suited to their personal needs.
Source: Forbes, “Estate Planning 101: Picking Your Heirs” Larry Light, Sep. 24, 2014