The best way to create a last will and testament is by working with an experienced estate planning or elder law attorney to assist you. The most important thing for anyone to know is that a last will and testament (defined under the Florida Probate Code) is not just a form or piece of paper. Your will may or may not control many or much of your assets and your attorney can help teach you about what your will does, and does not, do. Here is a general list of reasons to have an attorney assist you with your last will and testament:
- Peace of Mind! Working with an attorney to make sure you have made the right choices will give you peace of mind knowing all of your questions have been answered and your wishes will be followed through with.
- You do not know what you do not know - just because your will says it does not make it legal.
- Your will does not control all of your assets - your attorney can help clarify what this means.
- Your attorney should help make sure your will correctly interacts with your non-probate assets.
- Dying intestate (without a last will and testament) can create many problems for families and heirs.
- Your attorney can also assist you with a durable power of attorney, designation of healthcare surrogate and living will.
- Your attorney can discuss probate and probate avoidance as part of your estate plan.
- Even the correct will signing procedure is difficult. If your will is not signed in the exact legal way, it will be null and void, meaning your wishes would not be followed.
If you would like to learn more about wills and estate planning in Florida, please attend one of our free monthly estate planning seminars. We also have more information on probate and probate avoidance in our legal library.