Last Will and Testament Lawyer Serving Largo, Clearwater & St. Petersburg FL
Did you know that the Last Will and Testament is only one of the many types of estate planning documents that you can make?
A will is the most common estate planning tool that seniors use. Although this is a basic document, it has a great impact on your future and that of your loved ones. It is wise to learn how to use this tool, and to start creating your very own plan early on. Read on to know the basics of making a will, or contact us at The Schofner Law Firm for further guidance.
What Is A Will?
A will is a document that legally expresses your specifications on how to distribute your estate. There are two fundamental specifications that should be found in your will: one, who should have your assets such as money and property, and two, who should be in-charge of implementing your will (this person is called the executor). Apart from these, you can express other wishes such as instructions for burial or cremation.
Why You Need To Make A Will
A will is crucial in ensuring that your estate is distributed the way you would like. You have spent your whole life working and saving, building your assets and properties as they are today. You may also have protected your family’s material heritage that has been passed on through generations. It is only right to concretely plan for your life’s work and family legacy in the event that you are no longer able to manage them.
With a will, you can use your estate to provide for your family or anyone else you care for even when you are no longer around. You can save your loved ones from interfering claims and legal disputes. Whatever directions you specify in your will, you can be sure that it is your wishes that are implemented regarding your estate.
What happens if you were unable to make a will? In the event that there is no valid will upon death or incapacity, the court will have to step in to distribute your assets according to legal standards. This means that you’ve lost the chance to decide regarding your own estate. While the law aims to fairly distribute that estate, it will have no way of realizing your priorities, goals, and preferences.
Start creating your will today. You don’t need to have substantial wealth – as long as you have something to pass on, you have something worth protecting in a will. See where to begin by talking to us at The Schofner Law Firm. Call 1-800-891-9996 today.
Types Of Wills
There are different types of wills for different purposes and circumstances. Some of the most common are:
- Simple will. As the name implies, this is a straightforward written document containing your instructions. You can use this type of will if you are confident that the distribution of your assets will be uncomplicated.
- Testamentary trust will. This document includes a provision to create a trust in the event of your passing. In other words, your estate is not directly given to your beneficiaries but is distributed through a trustee (the manager of your trust). This kind of will helps protect your estate if, for example, your beneficiaries are considered financially irresponsible.
- Living will. Not all wills take effect upon death. A living will contains your instructions in the event that you are still alive but unable to communicate your wishes, such as if you become disabled, severely ill, or unconscious. In this will, you may lay out your plan for medical treatment, financial management, and the like.
The term “Last Will and Testament” can refer to any final will that takes effect upon death. In other words, a living will is not considered a Last Will and Testament.
What You Need To Know About Wills
Regardless of the type of will you intend to make, there are some essential things you need to remember:
- Make sure your will is valid. For a will to be legally valid, you must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind when creating the document. It must also be signed by at least two witnesses. In Florida, even a handwritten will is valid if it meets those requirements. However, an oral or spoken will is not.
- You don’t have to leave to children. You can make a will even when you don’t have children to pass on to. You can opt to leave your assets to any person or organization you wish.
If you do have children, it is perfectly legal to disinherit them – that is, to leave nothing to them. However, some cases of disinheritance are unintentional – for example, if you made your will back when you didn’t have kids, and then failed to update the will after your child was born.
- Update your will. As shown above, there are life changes that you may want to reflect on your will. Examples of such changes are marriage, the birth of a child, divorce,
- You’ll want a lawyer’s help. An attorney is not necessary to make a valid will, but it is best to have knowledgeable legal guidance to make the most favorable plan. A lawyer can help you anticipate estate issues such as taxes, disputes, and legalities.
Start Making Your Will Today
Drafting a will can be as simple as writing down your wishes. However, you want your plan to be the most legally sound and the most advantageous, both for your estate and your beneficiaries. Thus, the ideal first step to take is to consult with an estate planning attorney.
At The Schofner Law Firm, experienced attorney Ted Schofner will listen to you and help you create a practical and efficient will. Call The Schofner Law Firm today at 1-800-891-9996 or reach us through our online contact form.
2117 Indian Rocks Road, Largo, FL 33774
Mr. Schofner is licensed and admitted to the Bars of the State of Florida, Illinois, and the District of Columbia.
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