Estate planning is an important step to take that shouldn’t be overlooked. Meeting with a Florida estate planning attorney to speak about your future is something that everyone should do no matter how large or small their estate. A Florida estate planning attorney can cover a lot of ground that probably hasn’t crossed your mind: living will, will, and more. You may wonder what the difference is between a will and a living will. Let’s take a look at wills and livings wills. These two facets of estate planning may sound similar, but they are actually different things. We’ll discuss them in more detail below.
Will v. Living Will
Often times, when we think of estate planning we think of wills. The first thing that may come to your mind when you think of meeting with a Florida estate planning attorney is the topic of wills. A will is a written document that determines who receives your property after you have passed. There are many forms of property to consider, such a real estate, personal property like jewelry, financial assets, frequent flyer miles, and more. As you can see, there is a lot to think about when drafting a will. Even if your estate is small, it is still important to have a will. If you die intestate, or without a will, the State of Florida will decide how to divide you assets. You may not realize how much easier and better it is for any surviving family members and loved ones for you to have a will drafted and ready when you pass. At the onset, the creation and execution of a will is very straightforward based on the Florida statutes. According to Florida Statute 732.502:
Execution of wills.—Every will must be in writing and executed as follows:
(1)(a) Testator’s signature.—
1. The testator must sign the will at the end; or
2. The testator’s name must be subscribed at the end of the will by some other person in the testator’s presence and by the testator’s direction.
(b) Witnesses.—The testator’s:
1. Signing, or
a. That he or she has previously signed the will, or
b. That another person has subscribed the testator’s name to it,
must be in the presence of at least two attesting witnesses.
(c) Witnesses’ signatures.—The attesting witnesses must sign the will in the presence of the testator and in the presence of each other.
(2) Any will, other than a holographic or nuncupative will, executed by a nonresident of Florida, either before or after this law takes effect, is valid as a will in this state if valid under the laws of the state or country where the will was executed. A will in the testator’s handwriting that has been executed in accordance with subsection (1) shall not be considered a holographic will.
(3) Any will executed as a military testamentary instrument in accordance with 10 U.S.C. s. 1044d, Chapter 53, by a person who is eligible for military legal assistance is valid as a will in this state.
(4) No particular form of words is necessary to the validity of a will if it is executed with the formalities required by law.
(5) A codicil shall be executed with the same formalities as a will.” (2018).
When you meet with a Florida estate planning attorney, they will ensure that you thoroughly cover all that is necessary for the creation of your will. In addition, a Florida estate planning attorney will ensure that the will is executed correctly. So, what about a living will?
Another common reason that Florida estate planning attorneys are hired is to help draft living wills. You may have heard living wills called an advanced healthcare directive. An advanced healthcare directive is used for the purpose of determining how you want medical events to “play out” in case of your incapacitation. For instance, if you are in an unfortunate and terrible accident, there will be medical decisions that will need to be made about your medical care. You may wish to be resuscitated in certain circumstances, or you may not wish to be kept on life support. There are many medical decisions and options that are available for you to consider. Although this is a difficult topic to discuss, it is much easier for your family members and loved ones if you have already decided what medical decisions you want made in case such a terrible event occurs. It saves your family and loved ones any difficult burden when you have already made the decision.
Two Small Pieces of the Estate Planning Pie
Of course, a will and a living will are just two areas of probate law that Florida estate planning attorneys practice. In essence, they are two small pieces of the estate planning practice pie. Their names sound very similar, but wills and living wills are two different things. Here, we’ve only scratched the surface of all the types of areas of estate planning that a Florida estate planning attorney practices. Title XLII of the Florida Statutes is also referred to as the Florida Probate Code. Various sections that comprise the code deal with estate planning and probate. An estate planning attorney will use this, in addition to other statutes and case law, to determine how to best create an estate plan for you. When you make sure to meet with an estate planning attorney, you can rest assured that your future is taken care of in a good way. Rather than leaving things to chance for your loved ones to sort out, you’re making it easier for everyone. Although estate planning may not seem like the most important thing you could be doing, it is extremely important and shouldn’t be overlooked. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Schedule time to speak with a Florida estate planning attorney.
Florida Estate Planning Attorneys at Bret Jones, P.A.
At Bret Jones, P.A., our estate planning attorneys can explain all the options available to you.
We want you to make an informed decision regarding various estate planning topics. We are happy to take the time to go over each and every aspect of your estate plan with you in a careful and conscientious manner. That is the least you deserve. You deserve to understand what you are truly deciding when you are making your estate plan. Nothing should be rushed or glossed over. Estate planning involves the detailed planning of what happens to your estate when you pass on, in addition to other areas. It is extremely important that you have a real grasp of what you are deciding to do with your future. At Bret Jones, P.A. we do our utmost to ensure that our client’s estate plan desires are met. It is our pleasure to see our clients feel at ease once they have made the decisions regarding their future. If you or someone you know needs help with an estate plan, contact us at Bret Jones, P.A. We would be more than happy to speak with you about a will, living will, and more. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.