Regardless of one’s age, it’s important to consider what will happen to your loved ones and estate when you pass on. It’s crucial to put together a plan for your assets, children, benefactors, and healthcare and finances should you become incapacitated for a period of time. A will is a vital first step in the process of estate planning, and a St. Augustine will attorney can help you put together your will.
At the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., we have extensive experience helping families and individuals create wills, and we’re ready to help you as well.
When you work with a will attorney in St. Augustine, FL, you can take advantage of their knowledge and experience with regard to end-of-life preparations. Most laypeople are unfamiliar with the vast number of important tools, processes, and regulations regarding the creation of a will and the rest of an estate plan. To be sure that your plan will function as you want it to, work with an experienced attorney.
A will attorney can help draft and put together your will. This document will need to include several core components. This includes things like naming the beneficiaries of your estate and describing the plan for your assets and how they should be distributed. If you have minor children, it should also describe w how their care should be managed. It may also include any other wishes you have.
A will is a legally binding document so long as it is prepared properly and meets the necessary requirements. It’s critical that it complies with laws and regulations so that it will be seen as valid and stand up to any potential challenges. Working with a St. Augustine will attorney at the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., is critical to being confident in your will’s design.
Drafting wills is just one component of estate planning that your will attorney can help with. While a will can be critical to an estate plan, it is often just one component of a comprehensive plan. You may also want to consider things like trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. These are all things we can assist with, including advice around particular objectives, such as minimizing the potential tax exposure of your estate.
We can also assist after you’re gone with helping to manage the estate through things like the probate process. This process can often be complex and difficult for the family to navigate. A poorly managed process can also lead to a risk of conflict among the family members. By working with us, you can ensure that an experienced attorney will be there to help the process go forward as smoothly as possible.
Your relationship with a will attorney is often an ongoing one as well. Estate planning is often not something that is done once and never addressed again. It’s usually something that involves changes as assets are acquired and sold and as relationships adjust. We can help advise and make changes to your will and estate plan as necessary.
A: Technically, you don’t have to have an estate plan, but not having one can set your family up for challenges when you’re gone and leave you unsure of whether or not your plans will be properly executed. Without a will, your estate will still pass through the probate process, but it’s better to have your desires and plans for your assets, minor children, and other wishes spelled out through a will and other estate planning mechanisms.
A: It is possible, though not advisable, to write your own last will and testament in Florida. This kind of will is called a holographic will and must be signed and handwritten, although witnesses are not required. These wills can have many issues because of the lack of legal guidance on required elements, and they are particularly vulnerable to challenges.
There may also be confusion regarding what you intended from the will, so if you want to be sure that your wishes and desires are properly expressed, it’s critical that you work with a St. Augustine will attorney and law firm.
A: When someone dies in Florida without a will, their state becomes subject to intestate succession laws. These are a set of rules about how the assets will be distributed to surviving family members. In these situations, you will have no control over how your estate is handled and assets are distributed.
A: The most common means of setting up an estate plan through something other than a will is by means of a trust. Trusts are usually more work to initiate, but they do have the advantage of keeping the assets in the trust from going through the probate process. They can also provide privacy and potentially have tax benefits.
This can often save your family a fair bit of money in the long run. Your lawyer can help you understand whether a will, a trust, or both will better achieve your estate planning goals.
Putting together a will can be surprisingly complex. For a layperson, ensuring that a will is legally sound is extremely difficult, and there are many complex requirements to meet. That’s what makes working with an experienced St. Augustine will attorney so vital to the process.
At the Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., we help our clients prepare a will that will achieve their wishes for the future, as well as an entire estate plan that will meet their needs and desires. If you’re ready to start putting together your will, contact us today.
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