Winston Law PA

Estate Planning Overview

Coral Springs Estate Planning and Wills Lawyer


It is never too soon to hire a Coral Springs Estate Planning and Wills Lawyer  to begin planning your final property and health care wishes.  By using the right estate planning tools you can make sure that your loved ones honor your final wishes and are provided for in your absence.  At Winston Law, P.A. we can help you draft estate planning documents such as Last Will and Testament, Durable Power of Attorney, Living Trusts, Trusts, Health Care Surrogate and Living Wills.

What is a will?  Also known as a Last Will and Testament, a will is a legal document controlling the disposition of property after death.  Each state has specific rules and requirements when drafting a will.  In Florida, you must be at least 18 year 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 does not become final until the death of the testator (person who makes a will).  It can be added to with a codicil (addition or amendment) or revoked and a new one may be created.  A will cannot be changed by writing on it or crossing language out, after it is executed.

What happens in Florida if I die without a will?

In Florida, dying without a will is called dying intestate.  In the event a person dies without having a properly executed will, Florida laws of inheritance will take over as follows:

  • Your surviving spouse will receive the entire estate if there are no living children or grandchildren (lineal descendants).
  • If there are living children and grandchildren, your spouse will receive half the estate and the other half will go to the lineal descendants.
  • If your spouse does not survive you, your lineal descendants will share the estate.
  • If you have no surviving spouse or lineal descendants, the estate will go to your parents.
  • If you have no surviving parents, spouse or lineal descendants the estate will go to your siblings or their lineal descendants.

Florida inheritance laws do not make provisions for charities, friends or unmarried domestic partners.

Do I need any other important estate planning documents?

Living Will– A Living Will determines what type of life saving measures you do or do not want if you are in a vegetative state or have a terminal condition.  A Living Will must comply with Florida Statute 765.03.

Designation of Healthcare Surrogate – A Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to designate a person to make health care decisions for you if you become permanently or temporarily incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions.  This document should also allow your designated person to receive confidential medical information they would not otherwise be able to receive under Federal HIPPA laws.

Durable Power of Attorney– A durable power of attorney appoints another person to make business, financial and legal decisions for you if you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to act on your own behalf.  This document will eliminate the need for the court to appoint a guardian to manage your affairs if you become permanently or temporarily incapacitated.

If you or a loved one are considering drafting estate planning tools or you would like more information, please contact a Coral Springs Estate Planning and Wills Lawyer at Winston Law, P.A. at (561) 670-9375 or [email protected] for your initial consultation.

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