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What is the Significance of Having a Last Will and Testament?

Creating a last will and testament ensures that assets are distributed according to the individual’s wishes.

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  • | 4:09 p.m. August 30, 2023
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A last will and testament is a legal document that specifies the wishes of an individual regarding the distribution of their assets and the care of any minor dependents following their death. Also, by having a properly drafted and executed will, an individual’s estate avoids Florida intestacy laws.

Creating a last will and testament ensures that assets are distributed according to the individual’s wishes. Without a will, a deceased individual’s estate will be subject to Florida’s intestacy laws that determine the distribution of assets based on predetermined rules. Having a will allows an individual to designate specific beneficiaries for each asset, or a defined amount or portion of the estate, which ensures their loved ones receive their intended share. In a will, an individual may name beneficiaries, direct distribution of specific assets, or even provide for charitable organizations or causes. By including a testamentary trust in the will, an individual can appoint a trustee who would manage the assets for the designated beneficiary, giving the individual more control over his or her assets upon passing.

An individual with dependents should have a last will and testament, which allows them to nominate guardians for their minor children, ensuring the child’s well-being and providing stability should they pass away unexpectedly. Without a will, an individual has provided the court with no information to decide the child’s best interest, which may not be in accordance with the parents’ preferences. By expressly naming a guardian, the parent maintains control over their children’s future and avoids unnecessary legal conflicts.

If an individual dies without a valid will, their estate will be distributed according to Florida’s intestate succession laws. These laws may be contrary to an individual’s wishes or may not align with his or her unique family circumstances. By drafting a last will and testament, a person can avoid intestacy and ensure that their estate is distributed in accordance with their wishes.

Creating a last will and testament can significantly reduce the administrative burden on loved ones after passing. A well-drafted will provides clear instructions on handling a person’s estate, simplifying the probate process. It helps streamline the distribution of assets, minimizes  delays, and guides the executor of their estate.

No matter how large or small a person’s estate may be, making a last will and testament is important because it allows a person to control the distribution of their assets, names guardians for their dependents, prevents intestacy, and reduces administrative burdens on family members.

Jeffrey D. Mytinger can be reached at (941) 536-2039 or [email protected]


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