Creating a will is often a neglected aspect of preparing for the future. However, other aspects of estate planning are often overlooked as well — namely beneficiary designations. Here is a glimpse at how to handle beneficiary designations during the estate planning process in Florida.

First, it is critical that asset owners recognize the assets allowing for beneficiary designations. These include 401(k)s, IRAs and annuities. They also include stock options and even life insurance policies.

Asset owners would be wise to double-check that these types of assets have beneficiaries listed and that the people currently listed are those that the asset owners actually want to give these assets. To help with this, it may behoove them to update their designations following all major life events, including divorces, marriages, deaths and births. In addition, it is important that beneficiary designations are in alignment with what is spelled out in one’s will or trust.

If people lack beneficiary designations, assets may end up being tied up in probate. This may ultimately result in adverse tax treatment, delays and costs. Meanwhile, if they have the wrong beneficiary designations, their assets will end up going to individuals who were not intended to receive them.

Estate planning can understandably seem complicated, even for those who may not necessarily have a significant number of assets or high-value assets. However, an attorney in Florida can help to simplify this important process. An attorney’s ultimate goal is to ensure that the client’s best interests and wishes are protected long term through well-thought-out estate planning.