In Florida all sorts of clerks, customer service people, insurance sales people, brokers, account managers, and other employees of financial institutions give customers advice about how to title accounts and name beneficiaries. In an effort to avoid probate, these seemingly harmless changes can cause many problems with estate plans.
Most new account forms at financial institutions ask you to name a beneficiary. This does not have to be completed and sometimes you are better off to leave it blank than to fill in a name or attempt to name a proper beneficiary.
Often when filling out beneficiary designations people do not understand how a share of the assets will be treated if that person predeceases them. Will the share go to their descendants or to other named beneficiaries and is that what was intended.
Other problem can happen when there are future children born who were not contemplated at the time the account was created or if all of the beneficiaries do not agree.
Often a Florida Revocable Trust or Florida Will can simplify the need to change designations in the event of changes in your life such as a divorce, marriage, or birth or death of a family member. With a Florida Revocable Trust or Florida Will you can simply modify one document and it will take care of all of the accounts that are under it. Sometimes it is difficult or impossible to make changes when a spouse becomes incapacitated.
Jacksonville Probate Lawyer, David Goldman has put together a Florida Probate Handbook that is being offered free to readers and visitors of his websites. If you would like a copy, visit the Free Florida Probate Handbook web page, fill out the form, and one will be sent to you within 24 hours by email.