Many people, especially younger people who do not have families or many assets, believe they don’t need a will. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even if you rent instead of own, but you have a bank account and a vehicle, you should have a will – at the very least.
If you do not have a will or a complete estate plan, regardless of your age, contact estate planning attorneys at France Law for a consultation.
Why You Need a Will
Two words: Things happen. While people never expect bad things to happen to them, they sometimes do and are unexpected. A vehicle accident or a sudden illness could leave anyone incapacitated or dead.
If you become incapacitated, you will have no one to handle your finances. Part of an estate plan includes creating medical and financial powers of attorney. These documents name one or more people to make medical decisions for you, pay your bills, or otherwise handle your finances when you cannot.
If you should die because of an accident or a sudden illness, the documents in an estate plan can help your family avoid probate. Depending on how you set up an estate plan, it could also protect your assets from creditors. When our probate attorneys meet with you, we discuss your assets, liabilities, and wishes, including beneficiaries and powers of attorney. We create the documents to ensure family members, friends and doctors follow your wishes.
Contact our will attorneys today for a consultation if you do not have a will or complete estate plan.
What Are Estate Planning Documents?
Your estate plan can be as simple or as complicated as you need. Younger people might just need a will, powers of attorney, and a living will. Others might need one or more trusts.
When you schedule a consultation with our estate probate attorneys, we discuss your needs and help you create the best estate plan for your situation.
Our asset protection attorneys and will and estate lawyer can also create an estate plan that is easy enough to change as you obtain more assets and increase your net worth.
A will is a legal document that instructs your loved ones what to do after your death. The will might contain the people who receive your assets, how to pay liabilities, and even funeral and burial plans.
Wills almost always go through probate to ensure they are valid.
If you want to avoid probate, you can set up certain types of trusts. The assets that fund the trusts generally do not need to go through probate. You can have more than one trust. Florida allows for several types of trusts. They are categorized as revocable or non-revocable.
A trust maker can easily change a revocable trust by adding and removing assets. However, if you have assets you are giving someone and do not want to change that, you could create a non-revocable trust.
For example, if you have a child that is rather irresponsible with money, you can set up a trust that gives the child an “allowance” each month so that he or she doesn’t blow through all of the money at once.
You can also use certain trusts set up in a certain way to protect assets from creditors.
Powers of Attorney
Florida has two types of powers of attorney. You can make either one as extensive or as minimal as you wish. The two types are a healthcare power of attorney, which allows the person you name to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you cannot do it yourself.
The other is a financial power of attorney. Should you become incapacitated, someone will be able to handle your finances until you are able to handle them yourself. Both can include as many or few instructions and allowance as you wish.
The other document is a living will. This document tells your doctors what to do should you become incapacitated or cannot make decisions on your own. The living will also prevents your family from fighting over the best course of action. For example, if an accident causes you to be in a coma and doctors do not expect you to recover, you can choose whether to remain on life support or not.
You should keep a notarized and certified copy on file with your primary physician.
Contact the probate attorneys at France Law for a consultation to create an estate plan or draft a will.