Why You Need a Will
A will is a legal document that outlines your wishes for the distribution of your assets after your death. It is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have, as it allows you to ensure that your wishes are carried out according to your plan.
Here are some of the benefits of having a will:
- You can control the distribution of your assets. Without a will, your assets will be distributed according to Florida law, which may not be what you want.
- You can appoint a guardian for your minor children. If you have minor children, you can appoint a guardian in your will to take care of them if you die. This is important because the court will not automatically appoint the person you may want as guardian. Your will informs the court of your wishes in regard to your children’s guardianship.
- You can name a personal representative. A personal representative, also known as an executor, is the person who will be responsible for carrying out the terms of your will. This includes tasks such as collecting your assets, paying your debts, and distributing your property.
- You can avoid probate. Probate is the legal process that distributes your assets after you die. It can be a long and expensive process, but you can avoid it if you have a will.
- You can express your wishes. A will is a way for you to express your wishes for your loved ones and your property. This can be particularly important if you have special circumstances, such as a blended family or a disabled child.
If you do not have a will, you are considered to have died intestate. This means that your assets will be distributed according to Florida law, which may not be what you want. In addition, your loved ones may have to go through a lengthy and expensive probate process.
Here are some additional things to consider when creating your will:
- Make sure your will is up-to-date. Your will should be updated whenever there are major changes in your life, such as getting married, having children, or getting divorced.
- Choose a reliable executor. The executor is the person who will be responsible for carrying out the terms of your will. Make sure you choose someone who you trust and who is capable of handling the responsibility.
- Store your will in a safe place. Your will should be stored in a safe place where it will not be lost or destroyed. You should also give a copy of your will to your executor.
- Use clear and concise language. Your will should be easy to understand for your executor and for the court.
- Be specific about your wishes. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for your executor to carry out your wishes.
- Have your will reviewed by an attorney. If you choose to write your own will, consulting with an attorney can help you make sure that your will is valid and that it reflects your wishes.
If you do not have a will, Brandon Law strongly encourages you to contact an attorney today to discuss your options. It is a simple and affordable way to ensure that your wishes are carried out after you die.
Attorney O’Connor has extensive experience with estate planning and probate law and is available to serve you in Tampa Bay, Brandon, Kissimmee, Lakeland, Plant City, Hillsborough County, Pinellas County, Polk County and Osceola County.