Planning for the Future: 4 Benefits to Having a Will

Life is an uncertainty—tomorrow is never promised. Yet many people take for granted the notion that tomorrow will always be, and the thought of taking care of loved ones after they pass never crosses their mind. What if I told you that you have some control over what happens to your property after you are deceased? You can, if you have a will. Here are four benefits you will gain from drawing up a will.

  1. You can name the person you want to manage your estate.

In Florida, every estate must have a personal representative to handle its administration. When you create a will, you can name a personal representative, also known as an executor, who will act on behalf of the estate. You may also name a successor personal representative, in the event the first person named predeceases you. Almost anyone can qualify to act as a personal representative, with the following exceptions: minors, individuals who are not mentally or physically capable, and convicted felons.

  1. You can decide how your property is distributed.

Think about all of your possessions: your jewelry, your car, your money, etc. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to say, “I want this necklace to go to my favorite cousin, Sally?” You can! In a will, you can designate who you want to receive certain things; however, this would not apply to property whose ownership rights terminate upon death (i.e. homestead property).

  1. You can plan for the care of your minor children.

One of the hardest things to consider is departing life and leaving behind a minor child. In your will, you can designate a guardian to care for your children. In addition, you can create a trust account within your will to structure the payout of income, benefits, or other property to your minor children.

  1. You never have to change your will, but you can choose to do so at any time.

Once a will is drafted and properly executed, it remains in effect until you choose to change it. You also have the ability to change your will as many times as you would like. But be careful—when you change the will, it must be in compliance with the legal requirements; otherwise, not only will the changes not take effect, but you could inadvertently void the entire will.

Planning for the future is always a good idea, but you want to make sure you do it effectively. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the process and ensure that your intentions for your loved ones are recognized through your valid will.

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