Wills are an important part of everyone’s planning.
They are easy to prepare. And they are simple to revise. Once made, you have outlined how your assets should be distributed. But without one, you may be leaving it to chance. Florida, like all States, has something called “intestacy” laws. These laws outline how assets are to be distributed without a will. For example, a surviving spouse may receive either all or part of the estate, depending on whether there are surviving children. For all others, assets are given to the children, then to the decedent’s father and mother. If none of the foregoing exist, then the person’s siblings can inherit the property.
Wills take out the guessing.
Many people today have blended families. The intestacy laws do not apply well when people have kids from prior relationships. And they do not work well if you have someone who is not related by blood. A good example is having someone who is like a son, but is not legally your son. The intestacy laws are based on a family being in tact — i.e., together. And in today’s society, that shoe often does not fit.
However, wills are easy to make.
The essential elements are writing out who gets what. The person making the will must sign it at the end. And there must be two witnesses. The witnesses must acknowledge that they are signing the will. And they must state that they are signing the will in front of the person making the will. The person making the will is called the testator or testatrix. If these steps are followed, the will is likely to be found valid.
Wills can also be used to set up trusts for minor children. The terms of the the trust are often set out in the will. The testator or testatrix designates who will be the trustee. And having an alternate trustee is always a good idea. Like all wills, the trust would not take effect until the testator passes away.
We can help you prepare your will, and help you understand the process. Each will is unique to the needs of the testator or testatrix. It’s a simple process that may save lots of headaches for your loved ones.