According to Gallup, less than half of adult Americans have an up-to-date will in place. But this is one area of life in which you do not want to be part of the majority. It can be easy to put off making a will, because few people want to dwell on their own passing, and, for most of us, we assume there will always be time in the future to handle such matters. But, of course, we can never know if there is in fact such time, and, when a Floridian passes without a valid, up-to-date will in place, it is not they who suffer the consequences but rather the family members and loved ones they leave behind. Passing without a will creates confusion over the true nature of a person’s assets, forces the state court system to take charge of what would otherwise be personal financial matters, causes drama and tension among family members in a time of grief, and can lead to outcomes that may be diametrically opposed to what the decedent (the person who passed without a will) would have wanted, even if their wishes were otherwise expressed.
Florida estate planning attorney Ryan Mynard works with individuals and families to create wills and codicils that avoid these problems and honor their legacies. Creating or updating a Florida will – or creating a codicil which can amend and update an existing will – does not have to be a complicated affair, and working with our estate planning team can ensure that your will and/or codicil is not only valid and enforceable under Florida law but also fits in with your overall estate planning goals to help plan for your family’s future for decades to come.
Why You Should Not Wait To Create a Florida Will or Codicil
Should you pass without a will in Florida, the Florida court system will have to take control of your estate. Various surviving family members may have to work with attorneys and litigate against one another in court to determine who should be the personal representative of the estate. In addition, those parties will potentially have to track down all of your assets and debts, do the hard work of figuring out how to work with your financial institutions to pay off debts, and account to the state court regarding your financial affairs. Finally, the court will determine who should receive your assets in accordance with state law, which may be different from the promises you gave family members regarding your assets.
By creating a will or codicil, however, with our estate planning team, you can leave clear instructions regarding the following:
- Who should act as your personal representative in overseeing and managing your estate (which can be a family member, friend, or professional representative)
- The nature and location of all assets and debts
- How your debts should be paid upon your death
- Who should receive your assets and on what terms
- How other estate planning instruments (e.g. trusts) should be utilized to achieve your wishes for your family and loved ones
Many people hesitate to create a will because they are not sure what assets will exist at their passing or the identity of the potential beneficiaries they will want to name, but, by working with our estate planning team, you can create a valid, enforceable Florida will that provides clear instructions for your current situation while building in flexibility for future changes in assets and beneficiaries. Furthermore, you always have the option of creating a new will and/or codicil as your circumstances change.
Finally, many people find that taking the relatively simple action of creating a will helps them to explore more comprehensive and wealth-creating estate planning strategies for years to come, and our estate planning team can guide you through your options to help build lasting abundance and security for your family and loved ones.
Contact Ryan Mynard Today About Creating Your Florida Will or Codicil
To being the process of creating a Florida will or codicil – or to speak about any estate planning questions or concerns you have – contact Florida estate planning attorney Ryan Mynard at 850-683-3940 today to get started.