Lake Wales Wills & Trusts Lawyers
Trusts and Estates Attorneys Serving Central Florida
Wills and trusts are two of the most important legal documents you can draft for your estate. Without a valid will, a person who passes away is considered to have died “intestate.” This means that the deceased person’s assets will be distributed by the state through probate, a court supervised process. The decedent’s wishes regarding their property will not be known to the court.
Probate is a time consuming and expensive process. The probate process can be further complicated if you do not leave instructions for the management and distribution of your estate. To avoid this, you can ensure your property is handled per your instructions through proper execution of a will or trust.
At Weaver Loveless Law, we have been developing estate plans for our clients for more than 40 years. Our firm has built a solid reputation in the community for its stability, honesty, and care in all estate planning matters.
Ensure your estate planning documents are valid under Florida law. Contact our Lake Wales wills and trust attorneys at (863) 657-0770 today.
Benefits of Creating a Will
Your last will and testament is the backbone of your estate plan. A legal, valid will makes your wishes for your estate clear. With a will in place, some of your assets may avoid probate altogether.
- Allows your property to be transferred to beneficiaries
- Allows you to choose your beneficiaries
- Allows you to provide the details of what assets each beneficiary is to receive
- Allows you to select a guardian for minor children or other dependents
- Allows you to name the executor(s) of your estate who will then administer its instructions
- Reduces the costs associated with probate
- Streamlines the distribution of your assets
Without a will, your loved ones and the state will lack guidance for distributing your assets or real estate property. Your estate will be determined as intestate and subject to distribution laws according to the state of Florida.
Distribution of your assets without a will is determined by what type of living relatives you have when you die, with some examples below:
- If you have a children but no spouse, your children inherit the estate
- If you have a spouse but no children, your spouse will inherit the estate
- If you have a spouse and children with that spouse, and your spouse has no other children, your spouse inherits the estate
- If you have a spouse, children with that spouse, and your spouse has children from another relationship, your spouse and children each inherit half of the estate
- If you have a spouse and children that are not from that spouse, inheritance is also split evenly between your spouse and children
- If you have no spouse or children, but living parents, your parents inherit your estate
- If you have no spouse, children, or parents, any existing siblings inherit your estate
If you want your assets to go to specific beneficiaries that conflict with any of these intestate succession rules, a will is the best tool for ensuring your wishes are known.
Creating a Trust
Trusts can either be revocable (changeable) or irrevocable (unchangeable). Revocable living trusts are the most common in estate planning, involving transferring assets into the trust as a separate entity. You can then act as the trustee and can make any changes necessary while alive. Once you pass away, the trust is then administered by your executors.
Irrevocable trusts, on the other hand, cannot be changed once they are created. However, they offer stronger protections against taxes and creditors. This is because they remove your assets from your taxable estate.
Some common types of trusts include:
- Charitable trusts
- Asset protection trusts
- Special needs trusts
To understand which type serves your needs best and to set up a trust, you can turn to Weaver Loveless Law. Our experienced attorneys in Lake Wales can evaluate your situation and help take advantage of important estate planning tools.
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