Creating a will and other estate documents is something that should be done as soon as you are out on your own. Even if you are 20, you could be involved in an accident and could be incapacitated. With an estate plan, the person you want would be able to take care of your affairs. That way, if you were to die in an accident, your estate would go to those you wish.
You don’t have to be older to create an estate plan. In fact, there is no wrong age to create a will. If you are older, you should create an estate plan as soon as possible. Even if you are a renter and have a car and some personal effects, an estate plan should be completed. You don’t have to be rich to have a will and trust.
Florida uses different types of wills, depending on your circumstances. A pour-over will doesn’t list your assets, but it directs the personal representative to the trust. You may put assets in the trust as you acquire them or you may have them “pour” into the trust upon your death. The first thing your will should state is that you revoke any previous wills and codicils that might exist.
Provide for Payment of Debts and Expenses
This section outlines how you want your expenses and debts to be paid out of your estate. It could be as complicated as directing certain payments to be taken out of certain accounts or as simple as stating that all expenses, including funeral expenses, should be paid out of your estate prior to distribution.
Provide for Disposition of Property
Even if most of your property goes into a trust, you may have some assets that you do not want to go through the trust. And if you prefer to have just a will, you will have to provide for all of your assets to be distributed by the will. You may list each item separately or in groups. For example, you could list “all jewelry” or separate out the pieces that you own. For each item you are distributing, name the person to whom you are giving the item.
If you have special instructions for any of your assets, include the special instructions. For example, if you have an heirloom piece of furniture that has been in the family since it was made in the 1800s, you might direct the beneficiary to keep it in the family by passing it down to a child, cousin, or other relatives.
Nominate a Personal Representative
The personal representative ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Be sure to nominate a personal representative that you trust to handle your affairs after you are gone. The will should also state the powers the personal representative has, such as leasing and selling a property.
Florida uses several types of trusts and the type you need depends on your circumstances. Trusts may be revocable or irrevocable. Once an irrevocable trust is created, you won’t be able to change it. A revocable trust allows you to change the trust throughout your life and may be used to protect your assets, should you become incapacitated.
Executing the Estate Plan
When you sign the will, your signature must be notarized and then witnessed by two different people. If you have a trust, the trust must also be notarized and signed by two witnesses. Additional documents might include a durable power of attorney, which would be used in the event that you become incapacitated and cannot tend to your own business affairs, and a living will.
A living will ensures that medical personnel know your end of life wishes for resuscitation. When you create an estate plan with the trusted probate attorneys at France Law, you can live in peace knowing your estate plan and will are in order, and cared for.