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FAQs About Wills And Trusts

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FAQs About Wills And Trusts

March 1, 2023
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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
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
Family First Firm – Medicaid & Elder Law Attorneys
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