Establishing a will is perhaps one of the most important actions you can take for yourself and your loved ones. Drafting a last will and testament allows you to give certain instructions regarding what will happen to your estate and assets when you pass away. This will help mitigate lengthy probate processes, family conflicts, and other challenges that may be encountered during the estate administration process. Therefore, whether you have a large or small estate, you can protect your assets, life investments, and interests and provide for your loved ones by creating a will.
If you need assistance drafting your will or estate plan, consulting with an experienced Florida estate planning attorney is important for detailed guidance. With 40 years of extensive experience, Attorney Snyder has the knowledge and resources to assist and guide individuals and families in estate planning-related matters, including trusts, wills, probate administration, and guardianship. Mr. Snyder is available and ready to discuss your unique situation and enlighten you about the various estate planning options available to you.
Peter J. Snyder, P.A. proudly serves clients throughout Boca Raton, Florida, and the surrounding areas of Delray Beach and Deerfield Beach.
A will, also known as last will and testament, is a legal document that provides detailed instructions regarding how a person wants their estate, including assets and property, to be distributed, transferred, or disposed of after their death. The person creating the will is known as the testator. If you die without drawing up your will in Florida, your estate will be administered using the state's intestate succession laws.
Basically, there are three types of wills recognized as valid in Florida. These include:
An attested will is a last will and testament that is written and signed by the testator (or sometimes by a proxy) in the presence of two witnesses. Attested wills are the most common type of last will and testament used in Florida.
A military will is a last will and testament that must be written by an eligible person in accordance with the guidelines set under federal law. Military wills feature the same formalities as attested wills and are valid in Florida.
Out-of-state wills are valid in Florida, depending on how the last will and testament were obtained. An out-of-state will is considered valid if:
The will is in writing, and
The will is valid in the jurisdiction where it was executed or signed.
Even if it does not meet the Florida requirements, it will still be considered valid.
Some other types of wills include:
Oral Will – This is a will made verbally to another person.
Holographic Will – This is a handwritten will that is signed only by the testator.
However, both oral wills and holographic wills are not recognized in Florida.
An experienced attorney can review your available options and enlighten you about the content of a last will and testament.
When drafting your last will and testament, there are certain crucial elements that you must include. Here are some of them:
Details about property distribution
The name of your executors or personal representatives
Details of inheritors, beneficiaries, and heirs
Details of any trusts
Guardianship wishes for minor children
Careful financial planning to mitigate inheritance tax liability
Funeral and burial arrangements
A knowledgeable attorney can enlighten you about the vital components of the will, commonly inherited assets, and guide you through the process of drafting the will.
Here are some commonly inherited assets a last will and testament may include:
House or any other property
Money in a bank account
Money to pay outstanding debt
Household items and personal belongings
Trusts and shares
Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds
Pension or life insurance payout
Other physical possessions
A skilled estate planning attorney can enlighten you about the benefits of having a will and help determine what assets you should include in your last will and testament.
Here are some reasons why having a will is important:
It helps to protect and make adequate provisions for your loved ones.
It helps protect your life investments, assets, and interests.
It helps determine how your estate will be administered.
It allows you to choose a person who will care for your minor children.
It helps mitigate or avoid family disputes and conflict.
It helps reduce inheritance and estate taxes.
It allows you to avoid a lengthy and complex probate process.
It helps mitigate possible legal issues or frivolous lawsuits.
It allows you to make gifts and donations.
It helps prevent intestate succession (i.e., without a will, your assets will be distributed according to Florida intestate succession laws).
A knowledgeable wills attorney can walk you through the process of drafting your will and help you navigate important decisions.
Preparing for future uncertainties can never be too early. In the event that you become unable or unavailable to voice your opinion, your surviving family members can achieve peace of mind and benefit from knowing your exact wishes. A knowledgeable estate planning attorney can explore your possible options and help determine the right estate plan that best suits you and your family's needs.
Attorney Snyder has devoted his career to providing experienced legal services and guiding clients through the complex estate planning process. As your legal counsel, he will evaluate your unique needs and enlighten you about your available options. Whether you are trying to draft your will or update an existing estate plan, Mr. Snyder can guide you through every phase of the legal process and help you make informed decisions. He will outline a strategic plan to protect your assets and help you in a way that works best for you and your loved ones.
If you are considering creating a will or estate plan, contact Peter J. Snyder, P.A. today to schedule a simple consolation. Attorney Snyder can offer you the detailed legal counsel and reliable advocacy you need to navigate intelligent decisions in your estate planning. The firm is proud to serve clients throughout Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Deerfield Beach, Florida.