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Winston Law PA
561-670-9375

Wills

Wills Lawyer Broward County

WE SERVE ALL OF SOUTH FLORIDA INCLUDING PALM BEACH COUNTY, BROWARD COUNTY AND DADE COUNTY

Also known as a Last Will and Testament, a will is a legal document controlling the disposition of property after death.  It is important to have a legally executed will to make sure your loved ones honor your final wishes and are provided for in your absence.  A will becomes final after the death of the testator (person who made the will).  At that time, the court begins to administer the estate through a process called probate.  It is important to plan for how your estate will be administered before death in order to avoid questions about your intentions which can lead to a difficult and expensive probate process.

When drafting a will, it is important to have a knowledgeable and skilled attorney.  Your Wills Lawyer Broward County can make certain your will meets Florida’s requirements, can be authenticated, and the language is not confusing, or it may be challenged in court during the probate process.  In Florida, you must be at least 18 years old to draft a will, you must be of sound mind at the time you sign the will, and your will must be written, witnessed and notarized.

A will allows you to do the following:

  • You can decide who gets your property instead of the law making the choice for you.
  • You may name a personal representative to manage your estate (as long as that representative qualifies under Florida law).
  • A trust can be created within the will so that the estate or a part of the estate will be kept for family members including minor children.
  • Real estate can be sold without a court proceeding.
  • You can decide who will have the tax burden.
  • A guardian can be named for minor children.

Before you meet with a knowledgeable and skilled estate planning lawyer to draft your will it is important to consider the following:

  • The names of two people you would like to serve as your personal representative, one as a primary and the other as a successor in case the primary representative cannot act.
  • If you have minor children, you will need to designate a guardian to take care of them.
  • If you have minor children, you will need to designate a trustee to control the property left for them within the will (this can, but does not have to be the appointed guardian).
  • A basic idea of the property in your estate and the estate’s value so you can consider how you want it divided.

After your will has been drafted, it is important to keep it in a safe place.  Wills are not public documents and are not stored at the courthouse.  It is recommended that you keep your original will in a safety deposit box, a home safe or a place where you keep other important documents.  It is also recommended that you give a copy of your will to your personal representative or other family member.

Once you have a valid will, it is important to keep it updated with any subsequent changes in your estate.  Changes may include the birth of children or other family members, the death of a family member, the acquisition of new property or the relinquishment of property.  Changes to your will can be made by revoking your original will and creating a new updated will or adding additional clauses to your will in the form of a codicil.  You cannot make changes to your will on the actual document after it is executed.

If you or a loved one are considering drafting estate planning tools such as a will, or you would like more information, please contact Winston Law, P.A., your Wills Lawyer Broward County, at (561) 670-9375 or susan@winstonlawpa.com for your free consultation.

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