Read this before signing a will

Aug 11, 2022

Do you count yourself among other Florida residents who would rather discuss almost any topic other than personal mortality? It’s not uncommon to want to avoid discussions about your own death. However, you might also be one of many people who understand the importance of executing an estate plan before you die, in which case there are several things you should know ahead of time regarding the document known as a “last will and testament.”

There’s no one way to execute a will; in fact, there are numerous types of wills, so the first step toward implementing a plan is to determine which type of will best fits your specific needs and estate planning goals. Beyond that, there are several other important issues to keep in mind, as well.

Talk to your loved ones ahead of time about your funeral preferences

If you’re thinking about incorporating funeral instructions into your will, you might want to reconsider, especially if you haven’t discussed your preferences with your immediate family members. Your funeral will be over by the time of your estate administration. This means that, if you haven’t told your loved ones what your special instructions are for your funeral, they might not know about them until it’s too late.

Because of this, it might be best to omit funeral instructions from your last will and testament and, instead, verbally convey your preferences to someone you can trust to carry them out when the time comes.

Signing a will does not side-step the probate process

If you’ve been the under the impression that you can help your loved ones avoid probate by executing a will, you are mistaken. Whether or not you have signed a will before you die, your estate will still pass through probate. Having a last will and testament in place, though, may help expedite the process as opposed to having your estate become intestate, meaning that you have died without a will and the state will determine how your assets are distributed.

Use a trust rather than a will to provide care for a loved one with special needs

If you have a loved one with special needs, it’s understandable that you’ll want to take steps to ensure that he or she will continue to receive government funds or have access to financial support to provide for his or her needs after you’re gone. It is best to set up a special needs trust fund for this purpose rather than try to arrange your loved one’s care plan through a will.

Explore all of your options before signing a will

There are numerous types of wills and additional documents that may be beneficial to you in the estate planning process. It’s always best to discuss your needs with someone who has experience in executing estate plans. This type of support can enable you to make informed decisions and can also be helpful when the time comes to make periodic reviews of your plan and any changes or updates that may be necessary at the time.

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