Q. What happens if I die without a Florida will?
A. The State of Florida will, in essence, make out a will for you. Generally speaking, the laws of the State of Florida are very general and practically never could carry out your precise intentions or desires without your planning your own will.
Further, the court will appoint a personal representative to handle your affairs, and this person might be a senior family member with little or no experience in estate management. Not having a will could cost thousands of dollars due to the lack of proper estate planning.
The bottom line to this question is that wills are relatively inexpensive — starting at $75.00 — and everyone should see an attorney regarding having one prepared.
Q. What are the advantages of a will?
A. A will provides for the individual needs of your family members. You decide who, what, when, and where. You may decide to spread the payments out over a long period of time, or provide for the college education of a grandchild or niece. You may remember a church or favorite charity.
By planning your estate, you may avoid certain tax burdens by creating trusts in your will.
A primary consideration is that persons who die without wills have their estates tied up for long periods of time, and loved ones are often unable to liquidate necessary assets to pay funeral expenses.
As mentioned before, wills are very inexpensive in relation to the problems caused by not having one.
Q. Are wills revocable, and how often should they be reviewed?
A. Yes. Wills are revocable and can be changed at any time for any reason. Wills should be reviewed periodically or when individual circumstances change.
The following are examples or changes:
- Recent changes in federal or state laws make it necessary for all individuals to review their wills if they have not done so in the last twenty-four months.
- Substantial changes in assets of ownership in various businesses require review and tax planning.
- If you have relocated to Florida, your will should be reviewed.
Deaths, births, or marriages have occurred which have changed the circumstances of your original intentions.
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