Orlando Wills, Probate & Estates Lawyer
Estate planning is something too many Orlando-area residents put off until it is too late. Some people think they don’t need an estate plan because the law will take care of things. Others assume a will is unnecessary because they don’t currently own any significant assets.
But the truth is that everyone should at least have a last will and testament in place. Among other reasons, a will enables you to name a personal representative to oversee your affairs after your death. The personal representative should be someone you implicitly trust to manage and distribute your assets–which may not be the person who is appointed by a Florida probate court if you die without a will.
The Orlando estate planning lawyers at DSK Law can assist you with all aspects of the estate planning process. We can also represent a probate estate if you have are a personal representative. While estate planning need not be complicated, it must comply with certain requirements, and we can make sure your will and estate follows the law.
What Do I Need to Know About Making a Florida Will?
Florida law permits anyone who is 18 years or older to make a will. The will must be in writing, signed by the person making the will (who is known as the “testator”), and signed by at least two witnesses in the presence of the testator and one another. Witnessing is critical because obviously the testator is unable to attest to the validity of the document after they die.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to making a Florida will. In its most basic form, a will should (1) name a personal representative, (2) direct the distribution of the testator’s property, and (3) name legal guardians for any of the testator’s minor children. Some wills are quite simple, while others are more complex and may involve the creation of one or more trusts, which are an estate planning tool that can keep some of your assets outside the probate process and provide certain tax benefits.
Florida law also protects the rights of certain family members during the probate process. For example, Florida’s homestead exemption protects a testator’s primary residence from creditor claims when it is transferred to a surviving spouse or heir via probate. Understanding and applying these protections to a probate estate is just one of the legal services DSK Law can provide.
Additionally, if there is an estate for a person who left no will–what Florida law calls “intestacy”–we can assist family members or heirs with filing the necessary paperwork to open the probate estate and ensure an orderly distribution of assets as directed by Florida law.
Get Help with Your Orlando Probate Estate Today from DSK Law
Probate is actually not as difficult a process as some people seem to believe. But it is a legal process nonetheless, and as with any such matter it is to everyone’s benefit to engage a Florida attorney who specializes in wills, probate, and estates. Contact DSK Law if you live in the Orlando area and need help making or carrying out an estate plan today.