When it comes to securing your legacy and protecting your loved ones' future, our experienced Florida Will lawyer is here to guide you through the process of creating a Will.
Our law office understands the importance of crafting personalized estate plans that reflect your unique needs and wishes, ensuring your assets are distributed according to your desires. Whether you're looking to draft a Will, establish trusts, or navigate complex probate matters, our compassionate approach and professional insight at Elder Needs Law will give you peace of mind.
Contact us today to embark on the journey of securing your family's tomorrow.
Elder Needs Law serves communities all throughout the State of Florida, including Miami, Aventura, Boca Raton, Kendall, Plantation, and more.
What is a Last Will and Testament?
A Last Will and Testament (often just called a "Will") is a document used to distribute a person's assets (bank accounts, investments, car, real estate, etc.) to the beneficiaries of their choice (and can specifically disinherit certain people). Relying on a Will necessitates utilizing the probate courts to process the Will, pay creditors, and distribute assets to heirs.
We often recommend steps to avoid relying on the Will (and thus avoid the added expense and delay involved with the probate process).
If you are interested in creating a Will, A Will attorney in Aventura, FL, can help you create a personalized Will that fits your needs.
Requirements for a Last Will and Testament to be Valid in Florida
The Will must be in writing, signed by the testator, in front of two attesting witnesses (all three in the same room signing in front of each other).
Does a Will Have to be Notarized in Florida?
While it is not a requirement, Florida has an option to make a Will "self-proving." This speeds up the probate process – by allowing the probate court to accept the Will without contacting the witnesses. This Self-Proving Will Affidavit must be notarized. So, while, technically, Wills do not need to be notarized for all practical purposes, they almost always are.
What Happens if You Pass Away Without a Will in Florida?
A Floridian who dies without a Will is referred to as "intestate." In this scenario, the statute has a list of those who receive the deceased's property in a particular order depending on who survives the decedent. As just one example, if the deceased is survived by a spouse and children from another relationship (i.e., not the biological children of the surviving spouse), the surviving spouse receives half of the probate estate, and the decedent's children share the remaining half.
Seek the guidance of a Miami Will attorney to control how your assets will be distributed after passing away.
Do Wills Have To be Filed in Florida Probate Court?
According to Florida probate law, If your heirs are relying on the Will to receive their inheritance, then yes, it must be filed along with a death certificate. If you pass away intestate, probate must also be opened.
What is Probate?
Probate in Florida is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the deceased's assets, notifying creditors (and giving unknown creditors an opportunity to submit their claims), and distributing whatever is left over to heirs. A probate attorney can help you with this process.
How to Avoid Probate?
Some common probate avoidance tools are:
Lady Bird Deeds for Real Estate. Click on one of the following links for more information on Lady Bird Deeds:
Utilizing Pay on Death Beneficiaries. This requires no legal assistance. You can literally walk into your bank or call your financial /advisor/retirement plan custodian to list who you want to benefit from your liquid assets after you pass away. These "pay on death" or "transfer on death" designations will avoid probate.
The issue becomes – what happens if one of these payees predeceases you? At that point, a probate would be needed. To avoid this and to plan for multiple contingencies, a Revocable Trust is in order.
But for some of my clients, who may have one small bank account, their homestead, and one living heir. For this situation, especially on a budget, a Lady Bird Deed along with a pay-on-death designation may be sufficient estate planning.
Revocable Living Trusts (for financial assets and/or real estate)
Contact a Florida Will Lawyer Today
In times of uncertainty, having a well-crafted Will is the ultimate gift you can give your loved ones. A Boca Raton Will lawyer from our law firm can help you create a personalized Will that perfectly aligns with your unique needs and desires. With our compassionate guidance, you can navigate the complexities of estate planning with confidence, ensuring your estate remains intact for generations to come.
Don't leave the fate of your estate to chance. Let our experienced team of professionals provide you with the peace of mind you deserve. Contact us today at Elder Needs Law and take the first step toward securing your family's future. Your loved ones will thank you for your thoughtful care and consideration in shaping their tomorrow.