Palm Harbor Wills Lawyer

Sherri M. Stinson, P.A. helps Palm Harbor residents create valid wills to distribute property and name guardians for minor children.

Palm Harbor Wills

Have you put off drafting a will because the thought makes you uncomfortable? When you think about drafting a will, you have to confront your own mortality. However, putting it off can have severe consequences. If you pass away without a will, your assets will be distributed based on the Florida Intestacy Statute. That means you won’t have any control over who receives your property. Not having a will is even worse if you have minor children. Without a will to designate a guardian, someone will have to petition the court for guardianship. If no one steps up to care for your children, they can become wards of the state.

Your Palm Harbor wills attorney will make sure this doesn’t happen. The attorney will help you designate beneficiaries for your property and a guardian for your minor children, if applicable. Contact an attorney today to learn more. 

Reasons to Hire a Lawyer to Draft Your Will

Hiring a Palm Harbor wills lawyer is a wise choice for drafting your will. An attorney will:

  • Draft a legally-binding document
  • Ensure that all components of your estate are addressed
  • Sort through complicated legal issues
  • Help you avoid family feuds related to your estate

Do you need a Will if you have a Trust?

Many people choose to set up living trusts as part of their estate plans. Assets in living trusts generally do not have to go through probate. Because of that, beneficiaries can receive the property quickly after death. However, you need to have a will, even if you have trust. This is called a pour-over will. You might forget to transfer some of your property to the trust. If you don’t have a will in place, the property will go through probate. If you do not have a will, then the court will distribute it based on the Florida Intestacy Statute.

Your Palm Harbor wills lawyer can create a pour-over will to go with your living trust. This document will transfer property to your trust after you pass away. Thus, if you forget to fund the trust, the document will do it for you. Then, the property will be distributed based on the terms of the trust instead of the Florida Intestacy Statute.

Naming a Guardian for Minor Children

If you have minor children, you can name a guardian in the will. There are two types of guardians for minor children in Florida. Your kids will need a guardian of the property and a guardian of the person.

A guardian of the property manages the child’s financial affairs. Then, the guardian of the person is responsible for your child’s personal needs. Many parents choose to name the same person as the guardian of the property and the guardian of the person. Also, parents often select backup guardians in case their first choices cannot perform the duties. Your Palm Harbor attorney will go over your legal options when creating the document. 

Advance Directives

 As you age, two things become increasingly important: maintaining your autonomy and not burdening your family. You worry about losing your ability to make decisions for yourself, and you don’t want to be a burden to the people you love. That’s why advanced directives are so important. These health care directives allow you to decide what care you will receive if you become incapacitated.

Living Trusts

When making an estate plan, you need to decide how to pass property and assets to your beneficiaries and make decisions like whether you want to avoid probate. Many Palm Harbor residents realize that the best option to maintain privacy, quickly pass their assets to their heirs and avoid probate is through a living trust (a/k/a living trust).



Wills must go through probate before the property is distributed. If your estate is valued at more than $75,000, it will go through formal probate. A formal probate process generally takes six to twelve months. If your estate is worth less than that, it will qualify for summary probate.This process generally takes two to three weeks.Your Palm Harbor wills attorney can help you include a living trust in your estate plan to avoid probate.Speak to your attorney to go over all options.


Your will does not go into effect until you pass away, so you can modify or revoke it at any time as long as you meet the legal requirements. You must be of sound mind to modify or revoke your will. Also, you cannot be under duress when changing or revoking the will. Finally, the changes won’t be valid if you are under undue influence or fraud is committed. Make sure you meet the requirements by consulting with a Palm Harbor wills lawyer.

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