Fort Lauderdale Wills & Estates Attorney
Do you need a will? Honestly, that depends. Do you care what happens to your possessions after you pass? Do you have items that you want to leave to specific people? Do you have minor children? Do you want to have a say in who will take care of them after you die? Or when and how they will receive your assets? Our Fort Lauderdale Wills and Estates Law Firm can help you decide what you want to transpire with your estate and the most efficient way to achieve that goal.Minor Children
Is there a certain person who you would want to take care of your children should you and their other parent die? Or, just as important, is there a certain person who you would not want to take care of them? And who should handle the proceeds from your estate until your children become of age? Do you want it to be the same person who will take care of them, or someone else? Are you worried that if your child gets a big payout when they turn 18 that they will just go and spend it on something stupid instead of on their college, like you had planned?
As a Fort Lauderdale Wills and Estates Attorney, and a mother, Attorney Fero has shared your concerns. She will work with you to name a guardian, should your children ever need one, and help you structure your estate so that your children receive what you want, when you want them to receive it.Children From a Previous Relationship
Oftentimes, people think that they do not need a will because they assume that when they die everything will go to their spouse. In some cases, that is true. Florida Statutes, section 732.102 dictates what a surviving spouse will receive when their spouse dies without a will. If you and your spouse have no children, or if all of the children you both have are your descendants, then your estate will pass to your spouse. But, if you or your spouse have children from a previous relationship, then only half of your estate will pass to your spouse.
For instance, say that you had one child in a previous relationship, and you have four children with your spouse. If you die without a will, then Florida’s intestacy laws state that your wife will receive one half of your estate and your child from the previous relationship will receive one half of your estate. That means that if your spouse were to pass the proceeds from your estate on to your joint children in equal shares, your child from the previous relationship would receive four times as much as each of the children you had with your spouse! Is that what you wanted to happen?
Another scenario would be where your spouse has a child or children from a previous relationship, but you have children together. In this case, your spouse would still only receive half of your estate, and the children that you had together would receive the other half. Again, is this what you would want to happen?But do I Really Have to Have a Will?
The short answer to that question is, “No.” There is no law that says that you must have a will and, in fact, there are laws in place to handle the distribution of your property without having one. But, if you are concerned that the administration of your estate be handled in a specific manner, then most likely yes – you have to have a will.Fort Lauderdale Wills and Estates Attorney Pamela Fero is Here to Help
Contact our Fort Lauderdale Wills and Estates Law Office to arrange for a free phone consultation to discuss with an attorney whether you need a will and what type of arrangement will be best in your circumstance.