Wills Attorneys in Fort Myers
Even a Simple Will Can Protect Your Family’s Interests
Most people don’t think about estate planning, especially when they’re younger, in good health, or don’t have a spouse or children. The fact of the matter is, however, that anyone can benefit from having even a basic will in place to protect their family and friends’ interests in their estate when they pass on.
If you think it’s time to create a new will or adjust an existing one, Dorcey Law Firm can help. Our wills attorneys in Fort Myers know that most people want to have a say in who gets what and how much of their estate, and at the very least who they want to pass on specific items of personal sentiment.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Will?
A will can allow you to direct how your estate will be divided among all of the important people in your life while making the process a little easier and quicker to resolve in probate. If you think it’s time to create a will to protect the interests of those you love, reach out to Dorcey Law Firm for help.
When Should You Create a Will in Florida?
If you are of sound mind and of legal age, you should create a will.
Creating a will is especially important if:
- You own property that you wish to be distributed after your passing
- You are married
- You have children
- You have a lot of assets
If you have a large family, writing a will may help them avoid potential conflict when you are gone. It is worth noting that writing a will is not something you should draft yourself. Having an experienced Fort Myers will attorney by your side can help you ensure that all of your bases are covered.
What Happens if You Die Without a Will?
Dying without a will precludes this possibility because your estate will be divided according to the state’s intestacy laws, which can shut out your extended family and friends from inheriting anything you own. To complicate matters, probate can become an exceedingly lengthy and costly process for your estate’s division default to the state’s laws.
Is a Handwritten Will Legal in Florida?
Yes, handwritten wills are legal in the state of Florida. They must, however, be properly signed and witnessed to be valid.
For a will to be “witnessed,” it must have been signed in the presence of at least two witnesses. Note that these witnesses must also sign the will in the presence of the testator (the person who is making the will). But even then, complications can arise, such as a judge not being able to decipher the testator’s handwriting. Concerns over forgery may also get in the way.
Since there are so many complications with enforcing a handwritten will, it is best to work with a legal professional when drafting and filing a will in Florida. You will be able to rest easy knowing that your will is valid and aligned with your wishes.
Keep in mind that the above only applies in the Sunshine State. Handwritten wills, also known as holographic wills, are considered valid in many other parts of the country.
Your Will Can Cover More Than Just the Things You Own
Beyond determining what happens to the material possessions you own in life, your will can serve a very practical purpose for the most precious loved ones we may have in our lives:
- Our children
- And our pets
Establish Guardianship of Your Children
Guardianship over children can be determined in your will. This means that if you want to trust a sibling, parent, or another relative with raising your minor children when you pass on, you can outline your wishes for your children’s guardianship until they reach 18 years of age.
You may also establish a separate trust for them that the guardian can look after and manage until your children become adults. When you’re working with a wills attorney in Fort Myers on your plan, be sure to ask more about how you can protect your children’s interests.
Establish Ownership Rights of Your Pets
Pets are legally considered property, but people nonetheless account for them as irreplaceable members of their families and love them as such. When you are building your will, you can have your attorney include ownership rights to a trusted loved one who you know will care for your pet.
Determining new ownership of your pet can be especially important if the pet is of a long-living species like a parrot or tortoise, whose lifespans can last on par or exceed that of a human’s. In some cases, a trust can even be established to help the pet’s new owner pay for its care and well being.
Contact a Wills Lawyer in Fort Myers Today!
If you need to prepare a will, reach out to an attorney at Dorcey Law Firm for help. We offer a free consultation to all prospective clients and can make ourselves available for a conference during normal business hours or after hours by appointment only. We can facilitate your consultation over the phone, in-person, or by video conference. We can also offer service in Spanish.
Our Fort Myers, FL wills attorney is here to help. To arrange your free initial consultation, reach out to us online to get started!
We are dedicated to keeping your estate plan current with changes in your life and the law,. Our program will provide you with peace of mind through all seasons of life.