Why do you need a will? The value of a Will drafted by an Attorney. Melbourne, Brevard, Florida
Without a will, a person’s property will be distributed according to the intestate inheritance laws. The intestate inheritance laws are the Florida legislature’s best guess as to what the average Florida citizen would want to happen to their property after they died. A will allows one to distribute your property according to your own wishes, not the legislature’s best guess. A big problem with intestate inheritance laws is that every family has their own unique situations. Here a few of the reasons why you may need a will:
- If you or your spouse have children from other marriages, if you have a person who you take care of that is not your spouse or legal child, or if you have a child who is unable to care for themselves, then you should consult an attorney about a will.
- If you have a domestic partner, they will not inherit from you under Florida intestate laws. Domestic partners do not receive spousal rights or homestead protection. Florida does not recognize common-law marriage. Even if you have been with your significant other for a long time, you still need a will if you want them to inherit from you.
- If you have a minor child, you can nominate a guardian for your child in your will. You can also set up a trust for your child’s inheritance. Who takes care of your child and your child’s property is one of your most difficult and important decisions. Don’t you want to have a say in that decision? Another reason to nominate your child’s guardian is in the event, something happens to you, it may prevent family fights and court battles over who will be the child’s guardian.
- If you have multiple children or heirs, intestate inheritance laws may cause fragmentation of real property. If a piece of real property is owned by multiple people who cannot agree on what to do with that property, this could result in a family argument, a loss of the property through foreclosure for failure to pay the mortgage or taxes, or a partition action lawsuit.
A consultation with an estate planning attorney can help determine if you need a will or not. During your consultation, an estate planning attorney can advise you on how to title your property (which is especially important if you do not have a will). The attorney can also provide information about other types of documents that better suit your particular situation, such as a Power of Attorney or Revocable Trust.
For more information, please see our Wills and Trusts Page
September 17, 2012
Our Melbourne office is centrally located in Brevard County, enabling our lawyers to serve clients throughout “the Space Coast”, including Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay and Vero Beach.