Florida Will Attorney
The Essentials of a Will in Estate Planning
A will is a written device created by you (the testator) to control the allocation of your assets after your death. A will allows you to designate the beneficiaries of your estate, including a plan for the distribution of your assets to your spouse, children, loved ones and others. If you do not have a will at the time of your death, most states have laws in place that will direct the distribution of your property to your heirs.
The unfortunate reality is that many people in the United States do not have a will. Although the idea of creating a will brings to light one’s mortality, a will ensures that the distribution of your property meets your final goals and wishes.
In addition to asset protection, the creation of a will allows you to:
- Assign a Personal Representative (Executor) of your estate responsible for administering your assets after your death.
- Choose a Guardian for your minor children.
- Create a Trust and name a Trustee to manage your trusts.
- Determine the bearer of any tax burden associated with your estate.
- Donate gifts to charity.
Florida Law and Wills
Every state has its own laws and regulations concerning the creation and implementation of wills. In the State of Florida, if no valid will exists when you die, your estate becomes “intestate,” meaning that a Florida probate court will determine the distribution of your estate despite what your wishes may have been. Dying without a will also means that your survivors will likely face a complicated, tiresome and costly legal process that may not end favorably.
The State of Florida requires a will to be:
- Created in written form and signed by a person (testator) older than 18 who is in sound mind.
- Witnessed and notarized.
- Proved in and allowed by the probate court (to be effective).
- Created using the exact formalities required for the will’s execution.
In order to be valid, a testator must sign his or her will, or direct another person to do so in the presence of a witness. Under state law, a testator can normally amend (change) their will without completely rewriting the document. However, it is wise to seek the advice of an attorney who specializes in wills before taking action.
It is also important to note that marriage does not cancel a will in Florida. However, if you acquire a spouse after the execution of a will, he or she may receive the same portion of your estate (at least one-half) that he or she would have received had you died without a will.
The following is a list of important documents our Florida attorneys suggest you should consider when creating your will in Florida:
- Living Will: A declaration written by the testator that specifies directions as to use of life-prolonging medical procedures.
- Durable Power of Attorney: In the event of incapacitation, this document can assist in handling your property without the need to open a guardianship proceeding in court. A Durable Power of Attorney can help protect your assets and pay your bills if you happen to become incapacitated.
- Health Care Surrogate: This document allows you to choose a person who will make decisions about your health care if you are unable to do so. This appointment includes the power to withdrawal medical procedures.
- Pre-Need Guardian Designation: According to Florida law, this document lets you designate a person as your guardian or the guardian of your children if you become incapacitated or die. Please note that if you do not designate a guardian, Florida law allows the Court to do so if necessary.
If you or someone you love needs to create a will, you deserve the assistance of an experienced and compassionate Florida law firm that will help you through the will creation process. Our lawyers will take time to tailor a will based on your wishes and future needs as well as the future needs of your family. Our lawyers can also help you amend your existing will if necessary.
In addition to wills, the attorneys at LaBovick Law Group also help clients in need of probate assistance, estate planning, asset protection, trusts, guardianships and other areas of importance. Please call 1-888-777-3884 now to discuss your matter with an experienced Florida attorney.
The Florida will attorney at LaBovick Law Group assist clients throughout Florida, including Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Broward counties, and the cities of Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, West Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale and many other areas.