Many people living in Florida may have an incomplete estate plan and not know it. The importance of having a will has been stressed for some time, which may in some cases lead people to believe that the document is sufficient for determining what happens to their assets after they pass away. This assumption is incorrect.
While it is true that a will is a crucial part of estate planning, it remains only one part. Certain types of assets and concerns are not covered in a will. For example, people need separate documents, such as living wills and advance directives, to address their wishes regarding end-of-life issues.
When it comes to assets, wills don't cover individual retirement accounts, annuities, or life insurance policies. These all pass in accordance with beneficiary designations that override any contrary provision in a will. People should periodically review these designations to ensure that they are up to date and reflect any life changes such as births, deaths and divorces.
In some cases, funds contained in an IRA can be substantial. Proper management can maximize the value of an IRA over the long term. However, this can only happen when the account owner has provided a detailed plan for this management. Since everyone's situation is different, it may be helpful to consult with financial or legal professionals when making these plans.
Individuals who are concerned about their assets and leaving behind a quality estate plan may benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney. There are a variety of estate planning tools that can help preserve and protect assets for future generations.