Five Issues To Address In Your Tampa Will
Creating a will is one of the most fundamental yet important estate planning tasks. It conveys your final wishes, designates who inherits from your estate, and determines how property and assets will be divided. Unfortunately, despite how vital it is to have this document, it is something many people overlook. Our Tampa wills attorney explains why it is needed and five issues that should be addressed in it.
Do I Need A Will In Tampa?
Having a will in Tampa is important, regardless of your age, current health, and the amount of property or assets you possess. In addition to conveying how you want your final arrangements to be handled, a will serves as a guide for Hillsborough County Probate Court proceedings.
Probate is the process of settling the estate of someone recently deceased. While some assets, such as life insurance benefits or money kept in a trust, bypass the probate court, most of your belongings must pass through these proceedings before they can be distributed among your heirs.
Not having a will is known as dying intestate. This extends the probate court process, making it more time-consuming, costly, and potentially contentious. It also results in distributions being made in accordance with state guidelines, rather than your own personal wishes.
Areas To Address In Your Will
According to the American Association Of Retired People (AARP), nearly half of all U.S. adults do not have a legally valid will in place. While you can create one on your own, the AARP recommends getting help from an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure it is done properly and in accordance with state guidelines.
The requirements for creating a will are listed under Section 732.02 of the Florida Statutes. The following are five important areas that should be addressed:
- Inventory of all property and assets: Your will should contain a list of everything your own, which should also be updated regularly.
- Inventory of all outstanding debts: These should also be listed in your will, as they will need to be addressed before any distributions are made.
- Designated beneficiaries: These are the people or groups you choose to inherit from your estate. List their names and any property or assets you want them to have.
- A personal representative: This should be someone you trust, as you will be granting them the authority to represent you in the probate court.
- Any other last wishes: Your will may also include your desires regarding a funeral service, any memorials, and how you want your remains to be handled.
Request A Consultation With Our Tampa Wills Attorney
If you have not yet created a will in Tampa, or if you need to update an existing copy to reflect changes in your assets or relationships, reach out to Strategic Counsel Law Group, L.C. We provide the trusted legal guidance you need in putting this and other important estate planning documents in place. To request a consultation, call or contact our Tampa wills attorney online today.