Estate Planning, Durable Power of Attorney, Living Wills, Health Care Directive, Wills and Trusts.
A Plan for Incapacity and Testate
Welcome. A Will is a legal document that states and directs who receives such property and in what amounts, upon the testator’s death.
In addition to direction for distributing property, a Will may have other functions. It may be used to name a guardian for a minor child, create a testamentary trust and designate a trustee or personal representative, to handle the estate (property left after death) on behalf of children or others.
To make a valid Will, a person must demonstrate he/she has a general understanding of the nature of their property and their family relations. Once a person becomes cognitively impaired to the point they are unaware, then it is too late to make a Will.
When there is no valid Will, the person is said to have died “intestate”, and the property will be distributed according to the statutory scheme found at Chapter 732, Part I, Florida Statutes.
A Will is effective only at death but may be changed or revoked at any time before death.
It is important to know that any property the decedent owned at the time of death, in which a beneficiary was designated, actually trumps the Will. This means that the beneficiary designation strategies must be coordinated with the Will, in creating the estate plan.
Having a Will or Trust saves loved ones from unnecessary frustration and confusion, at a time when they are grieving. Emotions run high at such a time, and a Will or Trust brings decisiveness and clarity, to the beneficiaries left behind.