People often ask if a Will is absolutely necessary. The answer is almost always yes. There are so many factors to consider depending on the type of property involved and the identity of the heirs, whether homestead property is involved, but Generally speaking, it is best to always have a will as a back-up, even if you have other documents, such as a revocable trust, and even if all of your assets are jointly owned or have beneficiary designations. The primary reason for this is if you have inadvertently failed to fund your trust or properly title assets in a way that they will automatically pass on death to a joint account holder or joint tenant with rights of survivorship. This is true also if you have forgotten to name a pay on death beneficiary for any account held at a financial institution that is not owned in a joint tena
Often times there is property that has been overlooked, or that is acquired after death, and a will can provide for the distribution of these assets to the people whom you would want to receive it. If you die without a will, there is an intestacy statute which will control the distribution of your property in a manner which you may not desire or have foreseen.
There are specific requirements for a will to be valid, and it is always best to have an attorney draft the will so that the proper provisions are included which will ensure your property is properly distributed to your loved ones and that your estate is administered in an efficient manner.
The state of Florida has complicated homestead laws, elective share laws, and other laws affecting wills, trusts and real property, and if you are not an attorney, it is very possible that you will not understand how these laws will affect the distribution scheme you are hoping for.
Contact us today to discuss any questions you have regarding the drafting of your will, trust or other estate planning document.