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FAQs About Wills And Trusts
What Should a Will Include?
An experienced wills and trusts attorney can help you create a Testamentary Will that adheres to Florida’s legal requirements and includes all the necessary provisions, such as:
- Listing all the testator’s significant assets and the beneficiaries who should inherit them
- Naming an executor to close the estate and distribute assets after the testator’s death
- Appointing a guardian for any minor children
If you don’t have a Will yet, contact our law firm as soon as possible. Our lawyers for wills will draft a clear and comprehensive Testamentary Will and suggest additional estate planning tools.
What is a Living Will?
Unlike a Testamentary Will, which takes effect after death, a Living Will (a.k.a Advance Directive) specifies the medical treatment the document’s creator chooses to receive while incapacitated because of injury or illness. A Living Will may state the principal’s choices for:
- Life-preserving measures like resuscitation and tube feeding
- Medical and palliative care
- Organ donation
Creating a valid Living Will is especially important for individuals suffering from degenerative diseases like dementia, Alzheimer’s, or ALS. If you have an elderly parent with a progressive health condition, advise them to authorize a living will while they can.
What are the Advantages of a Revocable Living Trust?
The main advantage of a Revocable Living Trust in Florida is bypassing probate. Generally, assets a decedent owned in their name only must go through probate, a lengthy and potentially expensive legal process.
Our trust attorney can help you set up a Revocable Trust to avoid probate. You can name a successor trustee to handle trust management after your passing or incapacitation. That way, assets can pass directly to beneficiaries.
Keep in mind that a Revocable Trust doesn’t protect property from creditor or Medicaid claims.
Why Place Property in an Irrevocable Trust?
Once you place assets in an Irrevocable Trust, the trust becomes the legal owner of the property, limiting your ability to use trust assets or amend trust terms. However, irrevocable trusts offer an efficient legal way to protect assets and keep wealth in your family.
Competent trust attorneys may suggest strategies like:
- Transferring property to an Irrevocable Trust as part of Medicaid planning to qualify for benefits and avoid future claims
- Creating a trust that will distribute assets to adult children under certain conditions (e.g., graduating from college)
- Using an Irrevocable Trust to protect assets from a child’s ex-spouse in case of divorce