Estate planning simply allows you to decide who will or will not receive from your estate when you are gone. Of course there are more complex issues surrounding estate planning, but for this moment, we are just going to focus on this one issue; beneficiaries.
A beneficiary is any person who gains an advantage and/or profits from something. You can be the beneficiary of someone's kindness, the beneficiary of a good education, or even the beneficiary of your own hard work. When it comes to estate planning, you can be the beneficiary of an estate plan and receive money passed down from a loved one.
There is no black and white rule that says you must make your family members your beneficiaries of your will. Yes it is true, you cannot entirely disinherit a spouse, but if you were planning to do that, why are you even married to that person?
If your children did not treat you right while you were alive, why hand them a stack of cash that you worked so hard to receive and allow them to enjoy the fruits of your labor when you are gone?
If you fail to plan or if your plan is invalid because you thought you would save a few dollars by drafting your own documents, you will pass away 'intestate' and the state will decide who will receive from your estate based on Florida Statutes.
With proper estate planning, you can name specific beneficiaries to receive from your estate. If you want to leave everything to charity, go for it. If you want to leave $1.00 to your brother to annoy him from your grave, go for it. If you want to treat your children differently and give them different amounts, go for it.
Be sure to be specific when drafting your estate planning documents to avoid challenges to your will. Challenges to wills by distant relatives are so common that lawyers have a nickname for those people: "laughing heirs"- as in they will be laughing all the way to the bank if their challenge succeeds. People tend to come out of the woodworks and believe that they're closer than they are and should have some claim.
There is no need to worry about a guilt trip when you are gone. Remember, you are GONE. Do not worry about how you will make a family member feel when they realize they are not a named beneficiary in your estate plan. Be selfish, do what you feel is right inside, not what you think others would expect of you.
To avoid challenges to your will and make sure the right beneficiaries receive from your estate, you will need to work with an experienced estate planning attorney.
If you live in Miami-Dade, Broward, or Palm Beach county contact an experienced estate planning attorney at The Hershey Law Firm at (954) 303-9468, to discuss your estate planning needs.
You Can't Predict The Future But You Can Plan For It.