Experienced Wills and Trusts Attorneys in Stuart, Florida
Protecting your family’s future with reliable estate plans
No one wants to think about what will happen after they pass away. However, it is important to properly plan for your death or incapacitation to ensure that your loved ones are protected. At McCarthy, Summers, Wood, Norman, Melby & Schultz, P.A., our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to help you draft detailed and personalized estate planning documents. We create wills and trusts that carefully make sure your wishes are met.
Drafting secure wills in Florida
The goal of a last will and testament is to explain what you want to happen with your property and your minor children if you die. In a will, you can:
- Leave your property to the persons of your choice
- Name a guardian for your minor children
- Name a person to manage property you leave to your minor children, until your children are ready to take ownership
- Name a representative to ensure the terms of your will are carried out
If you die without a will, your property will be distributed according to Florida’s intestate succession laws, which aren’t necessarily in accordance with your wishes. Your property will go to your closest relatives, starting with your spouse or children. If you don’t have a spouse or children, it will go to increasingly distant relatives.
In order for a will to be finalized in Florida, you must sign it in front of two witnesses, who must also sign it. Your will does not have to be notarized to be legal. While you can create your own will in Florida, consulting with a knowledgeable attorney is recommended. At our firm, we explain all of the laws surrounding creating a will and help you draft one in a way that achieves your intent.
Creating living trusts in Florida
A trust is a document that names a trustee to hold legal title over your property. In a living trust, you are the trustee of your own property. Where a testamentary trust is created based on the terms of your will, a living trust is one you create while you are alive. The goal of a living trust is to protect your family from the probate process after you die, because any property held in the trust is exempt from probate.
For larger estates, a well drafted living trust can be part of an estate plan designed to reduce exposure to estate taxes and probate. For smaller estates, living trusts focus on probate avoidance.
Even if you have a living trust, you need to have a will that addresses any property not included in your trust. Without a will, that property will be distributed based on Florida’s intestacy laws. Also, a will covers matters that cannot be addressed in a living trust.
Our experienced estate planning attorneys can help you determine if a living trust is right for you.
Consult knowledgeable wills and trusts lawyers on the Treasure Coast
When you need to draft a will or trust in Florida, the attorneys at McCarthy, Summers, Wood, Norman, Melby & Schultz, P.A. are prepared to help. From our office in Stuart, Florida, we represent clients along the Treasure Coast. Call us at 772.286.1700 or contact us online today to learn more.