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Florida residents urged to update their will to avoid hassle

If you have recently filed for divorce in Florida or are going through a change in life, you may be overwhelmed with paperwork. In the midst of changing financial accounts, car titles and mortgages, many people forget to update the beneficiary name on their will, trust, life insurance policy, IRA account, retirement plan and other money-market funds. Failing to do so may result in the wrong person being awarded your money after your death.

Now is the perfect time to organize the beneficiaries of wills and trusts, since many people have recently received their tax forms bearing much of the necessary contact information. You should also consider updating any distribution of property changes as well.

In addition to revising your primary beneficiary, financial experts suggest adding a secondary beneficiary as well, helping to further organize your will. If you outlive your primary beneficiary, your policy will be saved from probate, which can be a lengthy and costly process. If your primary beneficiary should pass away, you can move the secondary up to take their place and appoint a new secondary beneficiary.

Experts suggest reviewing your policies, plans and accounts if you should experience any life-changing event, such as having a child or grandchild, or changing careers. Keep in mind, that if you name a child as beneficiary over a plan, a conservator of assets will be appointed by the state until the minor becomes an adult, resulting in additional costs.

An experienced estate planning attorney can help to organize your estate in order to ensure you have all of your bases covered. This can give you peace of mind that when you pass, your estate will be distributed according to your wishes.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Don’t make the No. 1 estate-planning goof,” Harper Willis, January 23, 2014.

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