FAQ Wills & Trusts
You Have Questions & We Have the Answers
Unfortunately, our educational system is not set up to teach the financial
basics to America's youth and unless one has financially savvy parents
who pass down their knowledge, most of us have to turn to a good attorney
to understand what it takes to meet our
asset protection and estate planning goals.
The Dorcey Law Firm, PLC, we understand that you have questions and we have the answers that you
are looking for. We take an individualized approach to each client's
case and strategically create plans that are not only tailored to the
client's unique circumstances, but that take their estate planning
to a whole other level.
We encourage you to read our frequently asked questions provided below.
For further information about our services and how we can help you, please
contact our office to speak with a Fort Myers estate planning attorney!
What is a will?
will is a written direction that controls how you want your property disposed
upon your death. Your will does not become final until your death, and
you may change or write a new at any time until your death.
What are the requirements to create a will?
To create a will in Florida, you must be at least 18 years of age. You
must be of sound mind, your will must be in writing, and it must be witnessed
and notarized in a specific manner provided by law.
What are some of the benefits of a will?
You get to decide who gets what property instead of Florida law making
these choices for you. You can name a personal representative (executor)
to settle your estate, you can create a trust in a will, and you can nominate
a guardian for minor children. You can also bequeath assets to friends,
distant family members and charities who wouldn't ordinarily receive
anything under state law.
What will happen if I don't execute a will?
Dying without a will is called "dying intestate," meaning your
property will be distributed to your beneficiaries as defined by state
law. Your property will not go to the state unless there are absolutely
no heirs at law, which is highly unlikely.
Is a trust a better substitute for a will?
In most situations it is not. We generally recommend that trusts are used
in addition to a will since a trust only handles the property that is put into it.
Trusts are helpful to expedite administration and save on taxes, but a
will is often necessary for controlling all property in the decedent's name.
What is a revocable living trust?
A revocable trust is created by you to manage your assets during your lifetime
and to distribute your remaining assets after you pass away. You can serve
as your own trustee and you can appoint a successor trustee to take over
if you become incapacitated or if you die. The trust is "revocable"
because you can modify or terminate it during your lifetime as long as
you are not incapacitated.
What does it mean to "fund" a trust?
When you formally transfer your assets such as your bank accounts, real
estate, and investments, this process is called "funding," which
requires changing ownership of the assets to the trust.
Do trust assets avoid probate?
Providing you properly transfer assets to the trust, those assets will
not be subject to probate; however, assets not properly transferred to
the trust are subject to probate.
Will a revocable trust save on estate taxes?
Your interest in your trust assets will cause the trust to be included
as your taxable estate upon death; however, your trust can be drafted
so it minimizes estate taxes.
Discuss Your Case With a Fort Myers Estate Planning Lawyer
Have more questions? We encourage you to contact our office to discuss
our services and how we can help you in a free case evaluation.
Give us a call today at (239) 330-6674.