As a Jacksonville Will Lawyer I have seen an alarming trend in Florida. Most Americans live fast-paced lives with long work hours, bills to pay, and mouths to feed. After a long day, the last thing on our minds is our mortality. But studies show that Americans need to be more concerned.
According to a 2015 survey performed by Rocket Lawyer, 64 percent of Americans do not have a will. Of those without an estate plan, only 27 percent thought there was not an urgent need to make a will. The most alarming statistic of them all – 15 percent of those surveyed said they did not need a will at all. As a Jacksonville Will Lawyer I have noticed that do have wills have not had them updated in many years.
This data is worrisome because it shows how many people do not understand the importance of a will or trust. If a person dies without one of these estate planning documents then his or property will pass intestate. This means that all of a person’s remaining assets will pass to certain family members according to Florida law, and the decedent will have absolutely no say over his or her legacy.
Most people stated their reasoning for not having a will prepared by a Jacksonville will attorney, is because they have not had enough time to get around to it. Many of our clients states that they do not want to plan for death by creating a Florida Will. There are many reasons why someone might wait. Many people despise thinking about their death. Others do not think they have anything worth leaving their loved ones, or they think only rich people need wills.
As a Jacksonville will lawyer, I can will tell you that a will is an important part of an estate plan because it allows our clients to leave a assets to who they want. For instance, a will can allow a person to leave a large amount of money to a person’s favorite charity. By giving money to a charity after death, a person can have a monumental impact on the lives of others. Without a will, a person is not able to leave money to a good cause. The money will go to your living spouse, children, parents, or even distant cousins, if your family tree is sparse. If you have no identifiable family, then your estate goes to the state.
Alternate choices your Jacksonville Will Lawyer many suggest
A Florida will is not the only means to avoid losing control of your estate. Another alternative is for a person to draft a living trust, use beneficiary designations, or own assets with rights of survivorship. A living trust is a revocable trust that moves a person’s assets after death to the beneficiaries of a trust.
A living trust does have some further benefits that a will does not offer. One of its greatest qualities is that it allows an estate to avoid probate. Probate is the court-administered process of ending a person’s estate and transferring assets to the estate’s creditors and beneficiaries. Depending on the size of a person’s estate, a probate can take months or even years to finish.
A trust is administered by a trustee, which a person or legal entity that manages the trust. The trustee must follow many of the same guidelines found in a probate but can perform the process much quicker because the trustee can avoid a busy court calendar that is bogged down by thousands of probates.
Every person needs an estate plan whether it is a will or a trust. An estate plan allows you to leave your assets to family, friends, or even a charity, which leaves a lasting legacy after you are gone. Done wait until its too late, call the Jacksonville Will Lawyers at The Law Office of David M. Goldman PLLC today.