Often the first thing that comes to mind with Florida Estate Planning is a Florida will or Florida living trust. Although these are valuable documents they do not have any effect on the distribution of many assets.
We recommend that our Jacksonville residents make sure their beneficiary designations are updated as these control the distribution of many assets. When a Florida Living Trust is part of an estate plan, you can designate your trust to be the beneficiary of most assets. It is important to make sure that the trust is the proper beneficiary. With some assets like retirement plans, you may not want your trust to be the beneficiary as it can have adverse consequences when charities are named as beneficiaries of the trust.
Your beneficiaries need to be updated on a regular basis and in the event of a life event (birth, death, marriage, divorce…). We recommend naming contingent beneficiaries in these documents.