Palm Harbor Elder Guardianship Lawyer
Palm Harbor Wills
Estate planning is an uncomfortable topic for some Palm Harbor residents. It forces people to acknowledge their own mortality, so they put it off. However, not having a will in place is even more uncomfortable when you consider the consequences. The state of Florida will choose who receives your property and cares for your minor children if you don’t have a valid will. The very thought of losing a say in what happens after you pass away is unbearable.
Fortunately, drafting a will is much easier than you might think. With more than 15 years of experience, Sherri M. Stinson, P.A. is adept at handling the legal and emotional side of estate planning. Contact our Palm Harbor will lawyer today, so you can have peace of mind that comes with a solid estate plan.
Legal Requirements for Palm Harbor Wills
After you pass away, your will must be validated by the probate court. It has to meet the following legal requirements:
- You must be at least 18 years of age when drafting the will.
- You must sign the document or direct another person to sign it on your behalf.
- Two witnesses must sign it.
Reasons You Need A Will Even If You Have A Trust
If you have a living trust, you might think that a will isn’t necessary. However, there are two important reasons that you also need a will.
First, it’s not unusual for people to forget to transfer all of their property into the trust. This is especially true when assets are obtained later in life. Without a pour-over will, that property will be distributed based on the Florida Intestacy Statute. That means you won’t have control over who receives your property after you pass away.
Second, you cannot name a guardian for your minor children in a trust. Instead, you must have a valid will that names a guardian of the property and a guardian of the person. You can choose two different people or the same person to serve as your child’s legal guardian in the event you pass away.
When you pass away, your will must go through probate before the beneficiaries receive the property. Estates valued at more than $75,000 go through formal administration, while estates valued under that amount go through summary administration. Summary administration is also the process used when the decedent passed away two or more years before the legal proceeding takes place.
As a Palm Harbor will attorney, Sherri M. Stinson, P.A. is experienced in all probate matters. Lawyer Sherri Stinson can help you minimize the impact of probate by setting up a trust for most of your property. Also, she can help your loved ones navigate the process after you pass away.
Designating A Personal Representative
You will choose a personal representative when creating a will. This person will administer your estate during probate. The representative will also be in charge of defending legal claims if legal disputes arise. You can choose a single personal representative or two or more to work in tandem. Your Palm Harbor will lawyer will provide legal guidance to help you when selecting a personal representative.
Modifying A Will
As long as you are of sound mind and operating under your own free will, you can modify or revoke your will at any time. The process is quite simple. Contact your Palm Harbor will lawyer if you want to make a change or revoke the will. If you choose to revoke the will, your attorney can then help you draft a new one. Keep in mind that you cannot modify your will to disinherit your spouse, though. Florida law states that spouses are entitled to an elective share of the estate, even if the marriage has broken down.
WHY CHOOSE SHERRI M. STINSON, P.A.?
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