The only way to ensure that your property and assets will be divided based on your desires after you pass away is through estate planning. For this reason, choosing to work with an estate planning attorney is a decision that you should consider before drafting wills, trusts or assigning Power of Attorney.
If you are ready to start planning for the future, the Law Office of Marie F. Benjamin is here to walk you through the estate planning process and will do everything we can to protect the division of your most valuable possessions after your death. We offer our clients free initial consultations and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your estate planning needs with you. Call us today at 407-492-8056.
The Purpose of Living Wills and Trusts
A will can be used to legally stipulate in writing what you would like to happen to your estate. Without a will, your belongings will be divided in probate court. Usually what the state does is pass your estate in its entirety onto your next of kin, typically a spouse or child. With a proper legal will, you can tell your family and the state exactly who you would like to receive what property. You can make sure your spouse and children are provided for and that the right people receive the possessions that mean the most to them.
If you have minor children, you can provide for them with a trust, an account of money that they will receive access to when they reach a certain age. A trust allows you to have control of how and when your child receives distributions. You can also stipulate a guardian for your children.
A legal will saves the ones who survive you time and money by greatly simplifying the process of distributing your estate. For your will to be legal in Florida, it must meet several state requirements. First, you must be eighteen or older at the time you write your will. Next, it must be signed by yourself and at least two witnesses. All three signatures must be made in the presence of one another. Finally, your will must approved by a Florida probate court.
There are several restrictions on wills in the state of Florida. For example, a person cannot entirely disinherit their spouse in their will without a properly executed prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. This means a person can’t leave their widow/widower without a dime. In Florida, a widow/widower is entitled to at least 30% of their spouse’s estate. A will also cannot request any illegal acts to be performed or that any joint property to be given away.
Estate planning is an important process that requires careful thought. Make sure your will is complete and legally binding by retaining the services of Office of Marie F. Benjamin. Contact us at 407-492-8056. We can assist you in understanding your legal options and draft a will that fulfills your deepest wishes.
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