Florida Estate Planning and Probate Law Blog focused on recent case law and planning ideas.


Receiving a large inheritance can be an unexpected windfall or curse to a beneficiary. To avoid a negative outcome, it is not uncommon for individuals to evaluate alternative methods to transfer wealth to their beneficiaries. A recent survey found that only thirty-two (32%) percent of baby boomers are confident their beneficiaries are prepared both emotionally and financially to receive an inheritance. Their concern stems from the desire for their beneficiaries to learn about hard work, failure and the joys of success and concern over their ability to handle sudden wealth. In making these decisions, individuals must also be concerned with: (i) the relationships of their beneficiaries (family harmony, divorces, current spouse’s and in-laws); (ii) student loan debt; (iii) establishing a 529 Education Plan for children or grandchildren; (iv) medical issues and a special needs trust; and (v) a drug or gambling problem or other destructive addictions. It is important to consider whether you want a beneficiary to receive their inheritance in one lump sum or distributions spread out over multiple years. All of these issues and more can be addressed in a well-designed estate plan.