August 27, 2013

While there is no special ribbon or color for it – August is National Make-A-Will Month (or so I’ve been told by National Public Radio).  There is a lot of misunderstanding about wills and trusts.  Many people think that they only need one or the other.  While it is true that you may not need a trust, you always need a will.  In other words, you can have a will with no trust and be OK; however, you still need a will even if you have a trust.   Your will tells the Court where you want your property to go.  It tells the Court who should be the trustee and guardian of your minor children (if you have them).  It protects your heirs from fighting over the assets of your estate once you’ve passed.  Having a will is a necessity in Florida.

I’m young, what do I care?

It’s a very common question – most people won’t be in need of a will until they are in the golden years.   Yet, accidents happen.  Tragedies occur to both the young and old.  If something like this happens and you don’t have a will, your assets and children are subject to -respectively- the intestacy and guardianship laws of Florida.  What this means is that Florida Statutes will determine where your assets go and Florida courts will determine where your children go.  While they will attempt to do their best, the judges simply don’t know the specifics about your family the way that you do.  Additionally, your heirs will be required to hire attorneys to protect their interests.  This can be a very costly and emotional process which no one would want their heirs to have to undergo.

Protect yourself and your loved ones!

But you can avoid all of the above headache with proper planning.  That may mean a will and a trust or a will alone.  If you are unsure which is best for your, please contact me to set up a consultation to discuss your estate planning options.