Many people are uncomfortable thinking about what will happen after they die. However, spending some time planning out what should happen to your property after your death is a great gift to your loved ones. It also ensures that your personal wishes will control what happens instead of the law dictating who gets what.
A Kendall wills lawyer can help you think about how you want to distribute your property after your death. These matters often raise issues you have not thought about before and your experienced probate attorney can help you work through them. With professional help, you could create a last will and testament that minimizes taxes, carries out your wishes, and protects your family.
A Will Ensures You Retain Control
When a person dies without a will, the law governs what happens to their assets. A probate Judge will appoint someone, usually a spouse or adult child, to collect the assets of the deceased person (decedent) and pay their debts. If any property remains after settling the debts and paying taxes, the law determines who gets the rest.
If a decedent has a will, it names the personal representative responsible for settling the decedent’s estate. The will could also designate who should get the decedent’s property and how much should go to each beneficiary.
The law places a few limits on how a will can distribute property. For example, Florida Statutes § 732.201 says that if someone dies and their spouse survives, the spouse must receive at least 30 percent of the estate, even if the decedent tried to disinherit the spouse in the will. This is called the spouse’s “elective share.” A spouse could receive less than 30 percent only if the couple had a valid marital agreement in which the spouse waived their right to the elective share.
Minimizing Your Heirs’ Expenses
Taxes could be one of the biggest expenses that heirs must face after a loved one dies. In some cases, tax liabilities could eat up much of an estate and leave little for the decedent’s loved ones. Even if taxes are not a big issue, not having access to a decedent’s bank account or other assets could cause hardship for surviving family members.
When discussing a person’s intentions for their will, a Kendall attorney can suggest measures to reduce the value of their estate, leading to reduced taxes, and allow heirs access to funds before the estate is settled. For example, designating a primary residence as a homestead takes it out of an estate, regardless of the home’s value. Similarly, money in a joint bank account with the right of survivorship allows the funds to pass directly to the co-owner upon death, and the value of the account is not part of the estate.
A local legal professional understands that educating people about how to preserve their property for loved ones and other beneficiaries is part of the process. They can help someone create a will that minimizes taxes and leaves the largest possible proportion of the assets to the beneficiaries rather than the government.
A Will Could Protect Vulnerable Survivors
One of the most critical functions of a will is to arrange care for loved ones who need help caring for themselves. Parents of young children could designate who they want their children to live with until they become an adult. Courts almost always honor that choice unless the designated person is legally disqualified from being the child’s guardian.
Many people have family members with special needs and a will could designate funds to support a disabled spouse, sibling, child, or grandchild. A Kendall wills attorney can advise someone about how to ensure the vulnerable person is protected.
Prepare for the Future by Calling a Kendall Wills Attorney Today
Making a will might seem like an unpleasant task for most people. However, there could be great satisfaction in knowing you have done your best to protect your loved ones.
A Kendall wills lawyer will take the time to discuss your financial situation, your family’s needs, and your intentions. They can use that information to create a legally enforceable will that meets your needs and minimizes your heirs’ expenses and inconvenience. Schedule a free consultation today with The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm.