A lot of Florida residents have taken the time to create a retirement plan — what about your estate plan? It is estimated that 70 percent of American adults have failed to write their last will and testament.
Many people fail to complete the important task of creating a will because they think their estate is too small for a will to be important. Others think the costs of creating a will are too high, and still more just do not want to think about their own demise. However, it is important to remember that wills are not just for dead people and they are not just for the rich.
If you have a family, a home or a savings account, you certainly should consider creating a will. People with children have the most pressing need for a will. That is because a will indicates who you choose to be the guardian of your children in the unfortunate event of you and the other parents’ deaths. If you do not indicate a guardian for your children, the decision will be left up to a probate court — a frightening prospect indeed. When naming a guardian be sure to name an alternative and even a secondary alternative just to be safe.
Your last will and testament will also indicate who will receive what when your assets are divided. This includes financial assets, real estate and intangible assets. The will can itemize each of your possessions and indicate the heir of the item. When completing this part of your will, be sure to update beneficiary information on investment accounts and individual retirement accounts. Beneficiary information on these accounts will likely be separate from the information listed in your will. Even if the will bequeaths an IRA to an heir, the IRA’s beneficiary designation will supersede the will.
Source: marketwatch.com, “Why wills aren’t just for the wealthy” Bill Bischoff, Mar. 17, 2015