During our lifetime we accumulate assets such as real estate, bank accounts, investment accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, cars and other assets. Many an individual will work hard to increase the amount and value of assets while giving little or no attention to how these assets will be distributed to loved ones after death. A Last Will & Testament also known as a "Will" is a common method of handling that distribution. A Last Will and Testament or Will is ah estate planning document that may include some, if not all, of the following concepts to help handle your affairs at the time of death:
- Funeral expenses, debts and taxes: The first provision of every will deals with payments of funeral expenses, debts and taxes before any gift can be made to anyone else.
- Disposition of your body: You may decide to insert a provision in your Will advising if you would like to be buried or cremated either with or without a funeral or memorial service and give any further advice you may desire.
- Specific Gifts: Your Will may include specific gifts of money or property to anyone. You can leave a dollar amount to any individual or specific items or things to individuals.
- Charitable Gifts: Your Jill may include charitable gifts to your church, college, alumni association, animal rescue group or any other charity and such gifts to be made in your name.
- Incorporate a separate written document: A Florida Will may include a paragraph stating that you my decide to make a separate written list leaving jewelry or other items of personal property to an individual or individuals.
- Distribution of your assets: The residuary or remainder of your estate is best distributed among family br friends through the use of either percentages or fractions.
- Executor or Personal Repnesentative: Florida uses the term Personal Representative rather than Exbcutor as the person to handle your estate. You would be wise to select a few individuals and the order of their priority.
If you don't prepare either a Will or a Trust (discussed on another page) your assets will be distributed by the Court in accordance with the law of intestate succession. Assets would then be distributed to family members but not in the way that you would havel desired had you taken the time to meet with a lawyer to prepare your Will. Also, if you don't have a will at the time of your death, you would not have chosen the person you would want as your Personal Representative or Executor. My office charges a small fee for the preparation of your Last Will & Testament. We also provide a Living Will to you at no additional charge. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to make an appointment to discuss these matters with an experienced attorney. Please give my office a call by calling (561) 863-9962.