Why It's Important to Have a Will

Creating a will ensures that your final wishes will be followed. Without a will, there's no certainty that your estate and possessions will be divided as you desired. It is vital for the satisfaction of both you and your loved ones that you not only make a will but that you complete it according to Florida laws so that it is legal and therefore valid. It is wise to consult probate attorneys Gainesville, FL residents trust to verify that your final wishes are clearly stated and legal.

Acceptable Types of Wills in Florida

There are several different types of wills but they are not accepted in every state. If you live in Florida, you must make a last will and testament that meets the state's restrictions. In Florida, the most common method is an attested will. This type of will is written and signed by the testator and requires the signature of two witnesses.

Military wills are similar to attested wills but only apply to those who have been or are currently members of the military. It should be noted that both holographic wills and oral wills are not recognized in Florida. Holographic wills are handwritten by the testator but do not have any record of witnesses while oral wills are those that are typically used by terminally ill patients who may be unable to provide a written copy of a will. A probate law firm, such as the Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates, can help you ensure your last will and testament is recognized by the state of Florida.

What Happens if You Do Not Have a Will

If someone dies without leaving a legal will, it is considered “intestate” and all decisions about the distribution of the estate will be made by the probate court. If the deceased person has a living spouse and no children, all property will be left to the spouse. However, if the deceased person has descendants, the estate will divided in half and split between the spouse and children. In the event there are no immediate family members, all property will be divided among remaining relatives. Property will be donated to the State School Fund if there are no surviving relatives.

Responsibility of Heirs

If you are due to receive money following the death of a loved one, whether or not there is a record of a will, there are several factors you will want to keep in mind. The entire process associated with dividing up an estate can take anywhere from 12 months to 18 months. You may be able to collect an allowance, or portion of your inheritance, from your probate lawyers if you need it right away. If the deceased person has a value beneath the “small estates” limit, Florida law dictates that no formal hearing must be followed. Instead, a simple summary Florida probate procedure can be undertaken to distribute any property. Any money that is inherited will not be taxed by the state of Florida, but you may have to file income and estate taxes for the deceased person the following year.

Hire a Gainesville Probate Lawyer

The lawyer who is handling the estate is only responsible for representing the concerns of the deceased individual. Therefore, if you are an heir to an estate, you will need a probate attorney Gainesville, FL firm to ensure that you remain updated on all proceedings. The Law Office of Silverman, Mack & Associates understands how difficult this time is for you and your family. Whether you need to make a will or need representation following the death of a loved one, we have the experience to assist you. Contact our offices today regarding any assistance with your last will and testament.