Making end-of-life plans can be difficult, but it’s also one of the best ways to get peace of mind. Having a will or trust isn’t just something you need at end of life either, you can prepare your will at any time, and you’re able to set up trusts whenever appropriate in life.
However, trying to navigate the complications of creating a will or setting up a trust can be hard if you’re trying to do it on your own. Having a will and trust law firm in Sarasota, Florida on your side will not only make the process easier but can also help make sure your will and trust will be legally binding and usable.
At The Law Office Mary E. King P.L. we’re dedicated to making this process as simple and painless as possible, whether you’re drafting a will for the first time, want to create a trust to manage assets on your behalf, or just need to make some changes or additions to an existing will.
Keep reading to learn more about our services and how you and your family can benefit from the creation of a will and trust.
What Is A Will?
In the simplest terms, a will is a legal document naming who will benefit from your trust, your beneficiaries, and what it is they will receive.
In some cases, wills are relatively simple, like in the instance that you want your estate to be equally split between a certain number of beneficiaries.
However, those kinds of cases can be a lot more complicated than they look because of the difficulty of splitting up assets like a family home, vehicles, or other non-fungible assets.
Most of the time a more detailed will that includes exactly what assets each beneficiary will receive can help reduce confusion and make the will easier to execute or fulfill.
You have a lot of control over how detailed your will is, how many beneficiaries you name, and how you want your property to be handled. But you can only exercise that control if you have a will.
Benefits Of Having A Will
A lot of people think that a will isn’t necessary if they want their possessions to go to their legal beneficiaries. For instance, if you want your spouse and children to be your primary inheritors, that would happen with or without a will in most places.
That doesn’t mean you don’t need a will though, or that having a will won’t have important benefits.
For one thing, as any wills and trust litigation attorney in Sarasota, Florida will tell you, having a will can greatly reduce the stress on your beneficiaries after your passing. With clear instructions for the executor, there’s less room for argument or bickering over the execution of your will.
The clearer your will’s outline of who gets what, under what circumstances, and what extenuating circumstances affect your beneficiaries, the less likely it is that your beneficiaries will argue about specific provisions of your will or how your wealth and assets should be handled.
Having a will also gives you peace of mind that your mark on the world will be handled properly. Especially if you have more than one child, a blended family, or if there are pre-existing tensions between your beneficiaries, having a will can help make sure those problems don’t mean that your estate is mishandled.
What Happens If I Pass Away Without A Will?
In Florida, there are specific laws about who will inherit, and how much, in the case that someone passes on without leaving a will behind for instructions. In most cases, either your children or your spouse will inherit, and if you don’t have any children or spouse, your estate will go to a close relative, usually either your parents or siblings.
Several extenuating circumstances may change how your estate is handled. For instance, if your spouse had children from another marriage & children in your marriage, then your estate will be split between your spouse and your children, but if your spouse only had children with you they’ll receive the whole of your estate.
The exact disposition of your estate will, without a will, be determined by beneficiary laws in Florida, or the state you were living in at the time of your passing.
Rather than letting the state decide how your estate should be managed, you should work with a wills attorney to hammer out the details ahead of time.
What Is A Living Will?
A living will is separate from the last will and testament that you can use to decide how your assets and possessions will be distributed. The two documents don’t have much overlap, despite the similar name, other than the fact that both can be very important when you’re planning for end of life and how to handle your estate.
Your living will is a document that outlines what you would want in medical situations where you might not be able to make decisions for yourself. You can decide if you would like to have any artificial life-sustaining treatments, or if you would prefer not to have them.
A living will is only used when the individual named in the will is already in one of three conditions:
- They have a terminal illness
- They are in end-stage condition as determined by medical professionals
- They are in a persistent vegetative state
You may have noticed that this doesn’t necessarily cover all of the conditions where you might be unable to make decisions for yourself in a medical setting. That’s partially because there is a difference between a living will and a medical power of attorney, and you may want to have both documents prepared to help protect your end-of-life wishes.
What Is A Trust?
A trust is another common means of transferring assets between you and another person or institution. They can be used to create a trust for a charity, asset protection, or other special needs where a trust makes more sense than adding someone as a beneficiary in your will.
There are two basic kinds of trust, irrevocable (or unchangeable) and revocable trusts. In a revocable trust, you can make yourself one of the trustees to adjust and make changes to the trust as needed. However, in an irrevocable trust, the terms of the trust cannot be changed later.
You’ll need a trust attorney to set up your trust and to make sure all the details are set up so your trust does what you want it to.
Benefits Of Having A Trust
Trusts are another legal vehicle to let you determine how your assets are used, before and after your death. If you’re an active trustee in your trust you can exercise a fair amount of control over the assets you give the trust.
However, one of the advantages of an irrevocable trust is that it isn’t taxable. The assets you give the trust are moved out of your estate, which can be a good way to handle large estates without having as much of a tax burden on your assets before your beneficiaries can inherit.
Need A Wills And Trust Attorneys In Sarasota, Florida?
If you’re looking for a wills attorney in Sarasota, Florida, or want a trust attorneys in Sarasota, Florida, you’re in the right place. At the Law Office of Mary E King, P.L. we understand how important these documents are for your peace of mind and the security of your estate.
We’ll work with you to make sure the details are exact and that you’re happy with the finished document, not to mention making sure it’s legally binding and ready long before you need it.
Schedule your wills and trust consultation, today.