How Do Wills Work?
How do wills work? A will, or last will and testament, is a legal document that contains a formal set of instructions for what happens to your property once you die. A will can also name a proposed guardian for your minor children and for your minor children’s property. A will also nominates a personal representative, the person who will be responsible for overseeing and distributing your property to your beneficiaries. A will can be changed at any time so long as you have the capacity to change it. For a will to be valid, generally, it must be executed and witnessed.
A common misconception is that having a will will avoid probate. This is not true. A will needs to go through the probate court system. Whether you have a will or not, your assets will go through the probate system. So why have a will? Without a will your property, or assets, will pass to your heirs as designated by Florida Statutes. You can think of this as a default beneficiary which may, or may not, align with your intentions. It’s important to meet with an estate planning attorney who can properly advise you on what happens if you don’t have a Will.
For more information on avoiding probate see “How to Avoid Probate”.
The Estate Planning and Probate division of Phillip’s, Hunt, Walker & Hanna is able to help you.
The law offices of Phillip’s, Hunt, Walker & Hanna are located at 212 North Laura Street, Jacksonville, Florida 32202. You can submit a free case evaluation online at Floridajustice.com or over the phone at (904) 444-4444.
This blog post published by Phillips, Hunt, Walker & Hanna is for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. For legal advice, please contact a licensed attorney.