Wills are an important estate planning instrument that helps you protect your family and your property after you die. A will is central to ensuring that your wishes are followed regarding your assets.
If you die without a will, you are deemed to have died “intestate” and your property passes in accordance with the Florida intestacy laws during the probate process. Without a valid will, the State transfers your property to a specified set of people, starting with the closest relatives. Your money and property can pass to relatives with who you might not have a relationship with. If there are no relatives, distant or close, the property and money will pass to the State of Florida.
To make a will in Florida, you must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. When creating a will, it is important to decide what property to include in the will, decide who will inherit what property, choose a personal representative (executor if you’re outside of FL) to handle the administration of your estate, choose a guardian for your children, choose someone to manage your children’s property, sign the will in front of two (2) witnesses, have all parties present in the same room at the same time, and to store the will safely.
It is crucial to update your will and other important estate planning documents following important life events, such as marriage, divorce, deaths, births, or a significant increase or decrease in assets. You want to be sure that your plans reflect your current situation, intentions, and desires.
We understand that creating a will may feel overwhelming and it can be easy to leave estate planning for the future. However, making these decisions ahead of time will give you peace of mind and ensure that your wishes are followed. Our trusted and experienced estate planning attorneys will be there to guide and support you every step of the way.