Estate and Will Planning in Florida
Doing some basic estate planning is essential to ensure that your loved ones follow your wishes after your death. A will also spare your family from the unnecessary expenses and delays that go into the creation of a will after your death.
In Florida, key estate planning includes these documents:
- a will that lists all your assets and the name of the executor
- a power of attorney that assigns an individual for taking care of your finances (if necessary)
- a living will for detailing your wishes regarding end-of-life medical care
- designation of health care surrogate for naming an individual who will honor your health care wishes
How to Avoid Probate
People should also consider a few steps to avoid probate after their death. In case you don’t know about probate, it is a court preceding that allows your executor to manage your debts, taxes, and asset transfer to individuals who inherited them. This process can take a lot of time and money. That’s why most people prefer saving their families from this hassle and avoid probate through a living trust. The best thing to do is to take all the necessary steps during your life, so your family doesn’t have to go through any trouble.
Benefits of Preparing a Will in Florida
This document, also called the Last Will and Testament, can protect your property and family. Here is how you can use a will.
- For leaving your assets or property to charity organizations/people
- For naming a personal guardian to provide care to your minor children
- For naming a trusted individual for managing the assets/property you leave for your minor children
- For naming a personal representative who will carry out all the necessary steps after your death
What Happens in the Absence of a Will?
If someone dies without a will in Florida, their property gets distributed as per the state’s intestacy laws. This law gives the deceased individual’s property to his/her close relatives, which begin with their children and spouse. In the absence of a spouse or children, the parents or grandchildren will inherit the property. The list goes on with increasingly distant relatives, such as aunts, cousins, siblings, and the spouse’s relatives. The state will acquire the property if the court exhausts this list and doesn’t find any relatives by marriage or blood.
Why do you need an Attorney to Make a Will in Florida?
While you can make your own will if you live in a place like Florida, you may miss minute details. Consulting a lawyer is the best way to create a foolproof will. For instance, if you want to disinherit your spouse or fear that someone may contest your will, getting professional help from an attorney is the safest bet.
Are you Eligible to Make a Will in Florida?
You can qualify to create a will if you are 18 years old or an emancipated child. Furthermore, you must be of sound mind when signing the will, which is in written form. You must sign the will in the presence of at least two witnesses. Remember that Florida does not acknowledge oral or handwritten wills without any witnesses.
While all will documents in Florida are on hard copy, you can also save this document in a digital format.
Professional and Legal Estate Planning Assistance from Dsouza and Strachan Lawgroup
Our seasoned attorneys and staff at the Dsouza and Strachan Lawgroup provide the best legal advice to help you create and protect a will. Contact us today if you want to know more about how to create this crucial document without any complications.