Preparing your estate for your eventual death can be a daunting task, but being prepared can give you peace of mind that you, your family, and your assets will all be cared for. This assurance can help you focus on enjoying life and your family during the time you have with them.
However, writing out a will can be daunting, and it’s easy to make mistakes without an Orlando estate planning lawyer by your side. Fortunately, The Orlando Law Group is here to help. Speak with your Orlando will attorney to get the aid you need for estate planning and writing your will.
Why do I need an attorney to make a will?
This is why an attorney is essential. Our team of estate planning experts has worked through most situations dealing with estate planning and writing wills.
Even for what might be a simple will, it is recommended an attorney be used because no two wills are going to be the same. Everyone has different types of assets and different amounts of assets.
Can’t I just create a will online?
Wills are one place where many people turn to online forms, thinking their circumstances cannot be complicated. We wrote an entire article on this, but a key aspect is to remember the people providing these forms are not attorneys. They cannot advise you on your unique circumstances. They can only provide you with help filling out a form.
Your family is more important than relying on an online form. The attorneys at The Orlando Law Group are here to help you with your will to protect your family and your interests.
What does a last will and testament do?
When writing a will, one of the first steps to completing this document is to understand exactly what it is meant to do. At its simplest, your will should provide direction on how to distribute your assets amongst your beneficiaries. However, a will can be more than that.
If you are building your estate plan and need help, a trust and wills attorney in Orlando FL can help you take on this task and understand exactly what this tool can do for you. Below are some ways that your last will and testament can give you peace of mind and control over your estate.
Assigns an executor
As you were working through your estate planning with an Orlando will lawyer, one of the first steps you will need to take is to assign an executor. An executor is responsible for carrying out your wishes as written in your will.
This person is also responsible for managing and protecting financial assets as they are distributed via your will. Typically, this person is a spouse, another relative, or a close friend. If you are unsure who to designate, reach out to a will attorney Orlando to get guidance on choosing the right person for your will.
Many of us have some form of debt to be resolved, whether we resolve it now or after death. Your wills attorney Orlando can help you make debt resolutions a part of your will so that your family does not have to handle this process and pay your debts themselves.
In your will, you have the ability to set aside assets and funds to pay off any remaining debt. The rest of your assets can then be provided to your family, but setting aside a portion of your time and money for debt relief can help your family enjoy their inheritance without working about paying off these debts.
One of the key elements of writing your will is distributing your assets amongst your family members to provide them with the inheritance you want to leave. Your making will attorney in Orlando, FL can help you navigate this portion of your will writing effectively and in a way that reflects your wishes.
Asset distribution includes money and any valuable items you may own that you want to pass down. For example, you may have a family heirloom that you want to pass down to a particular person, or you may want to set aside specific rules about passing down your home to your children. No matter your plan, an attorney can help you write out your will and testament to reflect these wishes.
If you have children, especially children who are not yet 18 or have special needs, ensuring that they have a legal guardian to protect them is a vital part of your will. When you designate a guardian with your will, and with the help of an attorney for wills in Orlando FL, you have some control over how your child is cared for following your death.
Designating a guardian can give you peace of mind that your child will be cared for if you pass before they enter adulthood. That can mean your child will not be placed in foster care, which can be a devastating experience. If you have a spouse, this can also be something to consider for their will. Ensuring that your wills are not in conflict is another important part of your will-writing process.
What’s a living will and what does it do?
In many situations, you may be unable to provide informed consent or other directions on your care. This may happen years before your death, and without written instructions for your wishes, you may not get the treatment you want. Our Orlando living wills attorneys can help with this.
A living will is a document that details exactly what treatment and medical care you want or do not want to keep you alive. That includes pain management, organ donation, and resuscitation. This document may also include an advanced directive, which provides details about what you want if you cannot provide informed consent.
To get the support you need and ensure your wishes are respected, contact an Orlando living wills lawyer. Your attorney can ensure that all your wishes are respected and that all paperwork is done correctly so there are no questions about the validity of these documents.
What should be in a will?
Every will should be a little bit different because no two people have the exact same circumstances. That is why it is always recommended you work with an attorney to prepare a will.
But some items should be in every will, including:
- Applicable property and assets that need to be dispersed when you die
- Care instructions for minor children
- Who will receive the assets (your beneficiaries)
- Who will be your personal representative or executor
If any of these items are not in your will, the judge will have the discretion to make decisions on your behalf.
What should not be in a will?
We wrote a great article about this a couple of years ago. You can find that here.
To summarize, a will is not a place to say that you would like your ashes to be spread across your favorite beach or over the place you met your soulmate. It is not the place to put stipulations on your assets – like the old movie Brewster’s Millions. It is not the place to list off life insurance policies you have or even the house you jointly own with your husband.
For goodness’ sake, do not put anything in your will that might hint at illegal activity.
There is a lot more that should not be in a will, much of which is determined by your specific case. As with most legal issues, there is no list of “dos and don’ts.”
How can an Orlando wills attorney help me?
Writing a will correctly and ensuring that all necessary considerations are taken in your will is vital. You will need to go through probate, meaning the probate court will look at your will and ensure that everything is as it is supposed to be. If something is wrong, it can impact the funds your family receives and your wishes being respected.
A wills and probate attorney in Orlando, FL can be vital to ensuring that your wishes are respected. Your lawyer can provide support, guidance, and accurate documentation. Your lawyer can also provide information and guidance on what to include in your will based on the specific needs of your case.
Ready to take control of your legacy? Our Orlando wills attorney can help.
Creating a will can be complex, and it is easy to make mistakes when you do not have legal representation on your side. Ensuring that your last will and testament reflect your wishes is vital. Take action now to ensure that your wishes are considered at every point, including providing the documentation for your wishes if you are unable to communicate or consent.
When you need an attorney for wills in Orlando FL, reach out to the team at The Orlando Law Group. Our team has the tools and resources you need on your side to ensure that your will reflects your wishes and provides everything needed to pass down your assets to your family and protect your legacy.
When you are ready to speak with an attorney, reach out for a free consultation by calling or filling out our online contact form.
Frequently asked questions about wills
What do I need to create a will?
Our attorneys will work with you to make sure you do not leave anything out of your will, but at a minimum, you will need to create a list of all assets you own.
Do I include my healthcare wishes in this document?
If you are interested in making sure you have care directives in case you are incapacitated and cannot express your wishes, we can help with that. That would be a separate document, often referred to as a healthcare surrogate. There are also living wills which are simpler.
Does having a will help you avoid probate?
Wills are an essential part of the probate process. Having a will does not help your loved ones avoid probate as it is required in some form in nearly every death. It will make probate significantly easier as many of the issues needing to be covered by probate will be already determined with a will – and your wishes.
Can a will be challenged?
Any legal document can be challenged through the courts, but, again, that is usually the center of movie plots rather than reality. If a will was created by an attorney, there should not be an opportunity for a challenge to be successful.
How would a trust affect my will?
A trust can help protect your assets by placing them in a unique and separate entity that manages the assets on your behalf. Creating a trust eliminates assets from going through probate, but this only applies to assets you specifically put in your trust. Of course, every case is unique, but trust is certainly something we can discuss when you are looking for complete asset planning.
What are the costs associated with a will?
Every will is a little bit different, so the costs to complete a will can vary greatly. The cost of a will almost always will be less than the cost – both emotionally and financially – of not having a will when you die.
If you would like to schedule a consultation for wills or any estate planning issue, please reach out to our office at (407) 512-4394, fill out our online contact form, or save this information in case you ever find yourself or a loved one needing to use it.
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