If I have a Will, there won’t be any probate, right?
Actually, it is Wills that are probated and not estates. Any asset you own will go though the probate process if there is no beneficiary named or no joint owner, such as a spouse.
I have to have a Will to keep the State from taking everything. Isn’t that correct?
Florida law provides a plan of distribution for your assets if you do not have a Will. Only if no heirs of yours can be found, would any part of your assets go to the State.
If we own all of our property in joint names, do we need a Will?
You won’t need a Will to pass property to your spouse, but when the last one dies or if you die in a common disaster, you need a Will to direct distribution at that time.
What is the difference between a Will and a Living Trust?
Briefly, trust assets are not subject to probate. Also, a Will takes effect only at death whereas a living trust is in effect during your life and you, as trustee, manage it as long as you are able. Should you become incapacitated, your successor trustee takes over. A Will provides no assistance at all with incapacity during your life.
What is a Personal Representative?
The personal representative is the person you nominate in your Will to handle your affairs at death. After being appointed by the Court, they will gather your assets, pay all legitimate bills, take the Will through the probate process and ultimately distribute your assets to the beneficiaries. The old term for a personal representative was executor or executrix.
What are Advance Directives?
Advance Directives are documents which give directions to others as to how to handle your affairs when you are incapacitated. They include Living Wills, Healthcare Surrogate Designations, Durable Powers of Attorney and Health Care Powers of Attorney. In each of these documents, you name someone who would make decisions for you.
Who needs to have a Will?
Everyone who is 18 years of age or older and owns any property.
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