Creating wills is certainly an important part of preparing for the future. However, an often neglected aspect of estate planning in Florida is updating beneficiary designations. For this reason, many asset owners have deceased relatives or even previous spouses named as their beneficiaries on their retirement accounts or life insurance policies.

It is paramount that the owners of assets check and update their beneficiary designations after major life events. These events may include divorces, marriages, births and deaths. After all, one of the worst situations that could happen to investors is that they intend to leave money for their children but the money ends up going to their ex-spouses since these exes are still listed as their beneficiaries.

Even if asset owners include in their wills that they want their children to be the beneficiaries of their retirement assets, this is not enough if the beneficiaries listed on the actual assets are different. According to the law, beneficiary form designations always trump what is mentioned in a will. Fortunately, account holders can easily check and update their beneficiary designations online these days.

Estate planning is not necessarily a pleasant activity, as people generally do not enjoy thinking about death. However, death will strike at some point — often when least expected — so it is best that the owners of assets be prepared for the inevitable. Through comprehensive estate planning with the help of an attorney in Florida, concerned parties can ensure that their assets end up in the intended hands when they pass away.

Source: cnbc.com, “Out-of-date beneficiary designations are a common and costly mistake“, Mark Henricks, April 17, 2018